Crocs rebuts analyst criticism of leadership

Footwear maker Crocs rebuts analyst criticism of leadership, business relationship

Associated Press

Crocs is refuting an analyst's claim of a vacuum in its leadership ranks and said it has no commercial relationship with the website BackJoy.

Sterne Agee analyst Sam Poser had said Thursday that several regional managers and other executives have left the Niwot, Colo., company, and those that remain agree with top executives "at the expense of numerous talented people who have left."

He lowered his rating on Crocs shares to "underperform" from "neutral" and dropped his 2013 earnings estimate for the company.

Shares of Crocs Inc. fell 5.6 percent in Thursday trading to close at $13.23.

Crocs said late Thursday that it has general managers or interim general managers in place in all of its regions except Asia, where an executive recently left.

Poser, also questioned Crocs' relationship with BackJoy, a company that he said has several former Crocs executives among its leaders. The analyst said he had recently discovered that Crocs was selling insoles and coated posture seats to the website. The analyst included pictures in his note of products from the website that he said show the Crocs logo and name.

Crocs said in its email that it had an immaterial relationship with the company when it first started.

"We never had a licensing agreement with them and no longer have an ongoing commercial relationship with them," the email stated. "We were not aware that BackJoy was using the Crocs brand in their marketing materials and we've asked them to cease."

BackJoy did not immediately respond to a Friday morning call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

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