After a failed $1.5 billion takeover bid from The Finish Line, Genesco (GCO) is refocusing on its business. The Nashville, Tenn.-based company, founded in 1924...

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After a failed $1.5 billion takeover bid from The Finish Line, Genesco (GCO) is refocusing on its business. The Nashville, Tenn.-based company, founded in 1924, operates more than 2,000 footwear and hat stores. It also designs and distributes footwear under its Johnston & Murphy brand and the licensed Dockers brand.

In June, Finish Line offered to buy Genesco but withdrew the bid after both companies’ results weakened in a soft retail climate.

Genesco recently said its fourth-quarter profit fell 88 percent due to weak sales and costs related to the aborted takeover, but announced a $100 million share repurchase program. Its Journeys and Journeys Kidz stores were hurt by a lack of “must-have” styles for the season and weak demand for Heelys wheeled footwear. Analysts expect results to improve in the second half of the year — some 60 percent of yearly sales are generated in its last fiscal quarter — but say retailing will remain weak.

Susquehanna Financial Group analyst John Shanley, who rates Genesco “neutral,” says: “We remain cautious in our outlook until we get better visibility around the company’s sales and earnings prospects for fiscal 2009,” which began Feb. 3.