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Skechers Is Having a Good Run After Hitting Some Speed Bumps

Stocks in this article: SKXNKEUA

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Skechers (SKX) is on a roll after badly tarnishing its reputation two years ago.

No, it wasn't for having Kim Kardashian as a spokeswoman, but close -- it was for falsely advertising its "toning" shoes would help people lose weight and strengthen an assortment of muscles.

The sneaker company wound up paying millions in a class-action settlement. That was the same year, 2012, when its Super Bowl commercial had to be pulled after protesters said it promoted inhumane dog racing. The company denied that charge.

Well, time marches on and all is apparently forgiven.  An endorsement from the Boston Marathon winner can go a long way in improving the company's image.

Operationally, Skechers has been doing everything right, with double-digit revenue and triple-digit income growth in its previous quarter. The company's shares have been up 34% for the year to date, currently around $44. In terms of price to earnings ratio, Skechers is slightly more expensive than Nike (NKE) and nearly 50% cheaper than Under Armour (UA).

However, Skechers is attractive considering it is gaining market share at home and expanding at double-digit rates in the international markets.

At home, Skechers has become the fifth-largest sneaker brand in the U.S, a significant improvement from seventh place a year ago. This puts the company behind Nike, Germany-based Adidas and Japan's Asics but ahead of Under Armour and Reebok.

Although Nike, with its Air Jordan brand, dominates the American sneakers market, in the walking sneakers category Skechers is the king and is gaining market share. Last year, Skechers' market share in this niche climbed to 50.5% from 34% in 2012. On the other hand, Nike's share shrank from 8% to 4% in the same period.

In its previous quarterly results, Skechers' reported 15.9% growth in sales at its retail stores to $128.9 million, including 10.7% growth at home and 48.8% in international markets.

However, Skechers gets less than a quarter of its revenue from its company-operated retail stores. More than 75% of its net sales come from its wholesale business, where growth is even better than retail.

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