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Coldwater Creek Sees Wider Q4 Loss

Women's apparel retailer Coldwater Creek Inc. (CWTR) on Monday forecast a wider loss for the fourth quarter, citing weak traffic in both early November as well as early December that negatively impacted its holiday sales results. The company also noted that higher promotional activity negatively impacted its margins.

The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company now forecasts fourth-quarter loss per share of $0.70-$0.85, compared to its prior forecast for loss per share of $0.55-$0.65. This guidance continues to exclude the impact of the change in the fair value of the derivative liability and any costs associated with the CEO transition.

On average, three analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report loss of $0.61 per share for the fourth quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

The revised outlook compares to loss per share of $0.42 in the year-ago period that included a benefit of $0.39 per share related to gift card breakage income and a non-cash impairment charge of $0.08 per share related to underperforming stores.

Coldwater Creek now expects to report comparable premium retail store sales for the fourth quarter that are essentially flat to the prior year. Earlier, the company projected comparable premium retail store sales to be flat to down in the low single digits.

Jill Dean, President and Chief Executive Officer of Coldwater Creek said, "We experienced strong sales during peak holiday selling periods, highlighted by record Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend performance, and favorable overall customer response to our holiday collections. However, our holiday results were negatively impacted by weak traffic in both early November and early December."

Dean added, "In response to what we believe are largely macro-economic issues impacting our customers' shopping behavior, we were more promotional than we originally anticipated, lowering our margins, but enabling us to move through our holiday inventory. As a result, we now expect to end the quarter with total inventory down in the mid- to high-single digits."

Coldwater Creek plans to report operating results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 year on March 13.

Coldwater Creek will be presenting at the 15th to be held at the 15th Annual ICR XChange Conference at Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, January 16.

CWR closed Monday's trading at $5.00, up $0.10 or 2.04 percent on a volume of 186,308 shares.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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