US women's wear retailer Coldwater Creek has said it expects to post a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss after holiday sales were negatively impacted by weak traffic.

The company expects to report a fourth-quarter loss per share of $0.70-$0.85, compared to earlier guidance of a loss between $0.55 and $0.65 per share. 

"We experienced strong sales during peak holiday selling periods, highlighted by record Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend performance, and favourable overall customer response to our holiday collections," said CEO and president Jill Dean.

"However, our holiday results were negatively impacted by weak traffic in both early November and early December.

"In response to what we believe are largely macro-economic issues impacting our customers' shopping behaviour, 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."

Looking forward Dean added: "As we move into fiscal 2013, we are confident that we have the right initiatives in place to build upon the foundation we established in 2012, which we believe will allow us to generate further improvements in our financial performance."

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Coldwater Creek Announces Participation in The 15th Annual ICR XChange Conference and Updates Fourth Quarter Fiscal 2012 Outlook

SANDPOINT, Idaho, Jan. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Coldwater Creek Inc. (Nasdaq:CWTR) announced today that the Company will be presenting at The 15th Annual ICR XChange Conference held at The Fontainebleau Miami Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 1:35 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Jill Dean, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Jim Bell, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, will host the presentation.

The audio portion of the presentation will be webcast live on the Investor Relations section of the Company's Web site atwww.coldwatercreek.com.

The Company also announced today that it now expects to report comparable premium store sales that are essentially flat to the prior year and a loss per share of $0.70-$0.85 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. 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 and compares to its previous guidance of a loss of $0.55-$0.65. Costs associated with the CEO transition, which occurred during the fourth quarter, are expected to be approximately $2.1 million, or $0.07 per share. The Company's updated guidance compares to a net loss per share of $0.42 in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2011, which included a $0.39 benefit related to gift card breakage income and an $0.08 non-cash impairment charge related to underperforming stores.

"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. 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," said Jill Dean, President and Chief Executive Officer. "As we move into fiscal 2013, we are confident that we have the right initiatives in place to build upon the foundation we established in 2012, which we believe will allow us to generate further improvements in our financial performance."

The Company plans to report operating results for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 year on March 13, 2013.

About Coldwater Creek

Coldwater Creek is a leading specialty retailer committed to being the fashion informed style advocate for the 50 year old woman. The Company was founded in 1984 in Sandpoint, Idaho, and sells its merchandise through premium retail stores across the country, online, and through its mobile applications.

Original source: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=92631&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1774326&highlight=