A few weeks back, Furniture Brands International announced that it would voluntarily delist its common stock from the New York Stock Exchange and transfer quotation of its common stock to the OTCQB, a marketplace for trading over-the-counter stocks. (It’s now trading there under the symbol FBNI.) This was primarily driven by NYSE's market capitalization requirements. Previously, the stock went through a one for seven reverse stock split in May.
According to reports in the St. Louis Business Journal and the Winston-Salem Journal, the company contacted outside advisors about a possible restructuring after difficult financial performance over the past five years and a $40 million loss in the second quarter of 2013.
Furniture Brands has some of the best known brands in the furniture industry, including Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Broyhill, Lane, Hickory Chair and Maitland-Smith.
Ralph Scozzafava, the company's chairman and chief executive, told analysts during a conference call in August that the company has conducted a thorough review of their portfolio of assets with their board, and outside advisers are in the process of executing initiatives that were the output of this review, including possible sales of non-core or underperforming assets.
It’s a challenge for Furniture Brands to change course as they are a big company. There are a lot of talented people in the Clayton, Mo., headquarters, and many in the remaining manufacturing operations.
One of things we’ve seen during the recession and its aftermath is that companies that survive have to be able to adapt. They have to be flexible.
Companies that have done relatively well have adapted their product line to something similar to what they are already good at. Or they have expanded their market focus, going after customers in a different, but not completely dissimilar, market. Or maybe they’ve dumped an unsuccessful line, or jettisoned a difficult customer, as we’ve discussed recently.
Or perhaps they have asked their own employees to be adaptable in acquiring new skills and gaining new experiences.
It’s tougher to turn a large ship around than a small boat. But it can be done if you have enough room to maneuver. Consider that if you have to change course in a smaller ship.
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