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Dec. 1, 2021, 10:14 a.m. EST

Skechers stock surges after activist investor boosts stake, calls for 'aggressive' buybacks and dividend

Shares of Skechers USA Inc. (NYS:SKX) surged 5.1% in morning trading Wednesday, after Tremblant Capital Group disclosed that it increased its equity stake in the footwear seller to 5.1%, and said it has "engaged in discussions" with the company in an attempt to boost value. The new stake of 6.87 million shares comes just two weeks after the company said in a 13F filing that it owned 2.73 million Skechers shares and calls to buy 1.07 million shares as of Sept. 30. In a letter to Skechers' board of directors, that it was "puzzling" that despite revenue growing faster than many peers, such as Nike Inc. (NYS:NKE) , Under Armour Inc. (NYS:UAA) and Crocs Inc. (NAS:CROX) , Skechers stock trades at less than half of the earnings multiples of those peers. Among Tremblant's suggestions to grow value were to initiate an "aggressive" share repurchase program and a dividend, and to eliminate the dual share class structure. Tremblant believes its suggestions could create more than $4 billion of value over the next 10 years. The stock has shed 6.0% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) has gained 2.5%.

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