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Crocs climbs as 4Q results top analysts' estimates

NEW YORK (AP) -- Crocs' shares gained more than 3 percent Thursday after the footwear company's fourth-quarter performance beat analysts' expectations.

THE SPARK: Crocs, known for its colorful plastic shoes, reported a fourth-quarter loss of 4 cents per share on $225 million in revenue. Adjusted earnings were 4 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted break-even earnings on revenue of $220 million.

For the first quarter, the company foresees earnings between 32 cents and 34 cents per share. Revenue is expected to come in between $305 million to $310 million.

Wall Street forecasts earnings of 38 cents per share on revenue of $310.4 million.

THE ANALYSIS: Wedbush's Corinna Freedman said in a client note that Crocs also topped her estimate for break-even results for the quarter. She noted that wholesale sales rose even with ongoing softness in Europe, but that online sales were weaker than expected because of increased competition from online retailers for holiday orders.

Freedman said she still looks at Crocs Inc. "as a 'show-me' story, in which management must continue to work to restore investor confidence with consistent execution and effective management of expectations."

The analyst reaffirmed an "Outperform" rating and $18 price target.

SHARE ACTION: Crocs Inc.'s stock rose 56 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $15.17 in afternoon trading. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $12 to $22.59. The stock is up 19 percent over the past three months.