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Shares of Skechers jump after Cowen upgrade

Shoes are displayed in the window of a Skechers store in New York City.
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Skechers shares jumped on Friday after Cowen upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform, citing expected expansion due to growth in its international wholesale business.

Shares of the California-based company were up over 3 percent in midmorning trade.

"We think the SKX brand has built a consistent and durable brand in the United States with a breadth and depth of offering (Performance, Casual, Kids, Work) at a price to the consumer that provides tremendous value to middle-tier and lower income consumers, a market that is being largely ignored globally by other leading brands," Cowen analyst John Kernan wrote in a note on Friday.

The analyst also believes that the brand may be underappreciated on the Street, noting that 36 percent of Americans own Skechers shoes, a number that rises to 45 percent among women aged 35-54.

Kernan raised his price target to $35 from $26, marking a 27 percent upside from Thursday's closing share price of $27.44.

"We estimate SKX's International business will overtake its domestic business within the next two years," Kernan said.

The shoe retailer reported a fourth-quarter revenue beat and a stronger-than-expected sales guidance for the current quarter in February.

Skechers shares 5-day performance