Pumped Back Up

Does U.S. Shoe have rubber soles? On Feb. 17, it announced it had broken off talks to sell its footwear business after rival Nine West Group lowered its original $600 million bid for the unit. Predictably, U.S. Shoe's stock dropped 16% on the news. The next trading day, though, it bounced smartly back. In turning down Nine West, U.S. Shoe said it would explore separating or selling its three businesses--a move some shareholders have pressed for. Its profitable Lenscrafters unit is eminently salable; not so its apparel retailing business.

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