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Posts tagged: coldwater creek

How to make a mistake when trying to decipher cryptic company press releases

Entry revised on 11/06/13 12:12 PM

I made a fairly major mistake last week dealing with a business section news item, related to Coldwater Creek. The Sandpoint women's retailer sent out a release saying it would restructure and cut expenses significantly.

It provided a few numbers but did not provide exact numbers on the impact on jobs, which is what many people really care about.

In the absence of information, I tried to generate some of the missing data, and I messed it up.

Here's the scenario that I hope others can learn from: The release from CC said its efforts would reduce “corporate workforce” expenses by 20 percent.  It didn't say how many jobs that meant, and an effort to reach the company for that number did not succeed.

I needed to get some kind of number and I assumed I could work it out, based on public information. I will skip the math I used to come up with the conclusion that “several hundred jobs” would be cut. Using limited absolute numbers, I figured  it would come to at least 300 jobs. 

The next day company representatives informed me that “several hundred” was wrong and I was told it was “less than 100.” We corrected the online story and ran a correction the next day.

I made an inquiry about the types of jobs cut or how to understand “corporate workforce,” but I failed to get additional clarification.

An inside company person said the job number at the Sandpoint office and headquarters was “around 50.” But that was an unofficial guess not for the record.

 

 

 

Coldwater Creek’s stock over past five years: a humbling graphic

The good news for investors in Coldwater Creek, it has to get better.

We spotted this chart in the Sandpoint-based women's clothing retailer's annual report for the fiscal year ending Feb. 2. The chart came with the company-written explanation below.

 If you can't read the graphic, here's the summary of what the FOUR key lines represent: (Also, click the chart to enlarge it.)

SOLID line with rectangle is Coldwater's stock valuation measured as an index starting in Feb. 2008 at 100. All four indices started at the same 100 point five years ago.

DASH line: NASDAQ composite.

DOT dash line: S&P apparel retail group.

SOLID line with circle: Apparel peer group.

The following graph compares the cumulative five-year total return to stockholders on Coldwater Creek Inc.'s common stock to the cumulative total returns of the NASDAQ Composite Index, the S&P Apparel Retail Index, and a customized peer group of Chico's, Christopher & Banks, and ANN INC (referred to as the “Peer Group”). Due to Talbots, one of the companies that was included in the Peer Group for fiscal 2011, becoming a privately held company, and in an effort to include a broader range of companies that includes industry sectors in which we operate, instead of comparing our stock performance to an individually selected group of peer companies, we have used a published industry index. Accordingly, for fiscal 2012, we are including the S&P Apparel Retail Index and we do not intend to present the Peer Group in future fiscal years. The stock performance shown below is not necessarily indicative of future performance.

Coldwater Creek gets a nice stock price bump, up 17 percent to $5.72

Just in time for the holidays, we spotted a nice Friday afternoon pop for Coldwater Creek's stock price, on the Nasdaq.

A few months ago the company had to do a reverse-split to keep the price per share above $1. When it did that, its recalculated price came to about $3.89 or so.

Today it rose to $5.72, up 17 percent from Thursday's closing price.

Recent announcements that might have helped the Sandpoint women's fashion retailer is a third quarter report that showed it's trimmed losses, and the announcement this week that a new CEO will take over in January for co-founder Dennis Pence.

Things are picking up stock-wise. Friday's trade volume was 412,519 shares, compared with a recent average volume of  211,332 shares.

Coldwater Creek selects a woman to head the company, starting Jan. 1

Sandpoint women's clothing retailer Coldwater Creek did an interesting thing on Wednesday. It appointed a woman as the next CEO.

The women's apparel retailer said its co-founder and CEO Dennis Pence will retire at the end of 2012.

Jill Brown Dean, the current president and chief merchandise buyer,  will take over as CEO on Jan. 1.

The company reported a smaller-than-expected third quarter loss, helped by higher comparable premium retail store sales and improved margins. In after hour trading Wednesday, the stock moved upward, approaching the $5 mark for the first time in a long while.

Normal Wednesday trading closed at $4.87 on the Nasdaq.

Coldwater Creek has been posting losses for more than two years. It has been losing out to larger rivals such as Chico's FAS  and Ann Taylor Stores Corp.

Coldwater Creek on a roll, passes $4, in part due to reverse stock split

Catching up after some time away:  Sandpoint women's apparel retailer Coldwater Creek is faring better, stock-price-wise, since it went through a recent four-to-one reverse split.

The change took effect last Monday on the NASDAQ exchange where CTWR trades. A number of analysts have taken note and are moving their ratings from neutral to hold. They're citing improved apparel choices and a strong push to attract more purchases through customer loyalty programs.

The company's CEO and President Dennis Pence said, in a release, the split “was necessary for us to maintain our listing position on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, attract high quality investors and more effectively capitalize on the positive changes we have made to our brand which we believe will result in sustained long-term profitability and shareholder value.”

The stock price this week is above $4.

The charts above and below show the stock's climb. The top one adjusts stock prices to agree with the new split price. The one below doesn't.

Also notable: daily volume is very small and is shown in the lines at the lower half of the chart below.

Coldwater Creek sets election for reverse split, plus details the range of split

Coldwater Creek, looking to keep its stock listed on the Nasdaq, is preparing a special election for stockholders to approve a reverse stock split.

The election is now set for Friday,  Sept 21 at 9:30 a.m. at the women's fashion retailer's Sandpoint office. 

Our earlier story last week didn't have the date. It also then didn't have the reverse split.

The proposal is a reverse split no less than 1-for-3 and not more than 1-for-6. The vote gives the company board the option to choose the level of split.

If you're a stockholder and want to get a ballot, this link gets you what you need.

To read the full proxy proposal, it's linked just below this text box.


Documents:

Coldwater Creek proposes reverse stock split to remain listed on the Nasdaq

Sandpoint women’s apparel retailer Coldwater Creek is proposing a reverse stock split to keep the company trading on the Nasdaq market.

A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission proposes a vote by Coldwater shareholders to approve the split. Neither the date for the election or the split ratio has been decided, said company spokeswoman Bobbi Earle.

The Nasdaq rules state a company’s stock will be delisted if it remains below $1 a share for 90 days following a notice of possible delisting.

Nasdaq sent that notice to Coldwater Creek in mid-June. Its share price was last above $1 on May 10. Since then its price has fallen to 45 cents and as high as 80 cents.

It closed Monday at 63 cents.

While struggling to revive its stock price, the company has earned some market support because of a recent infusion of cash from equity firm Golden Gate Capital. Last month the San Francisco-based fund announced it’s lending Coldwater Creek $65 million.

In exchange, Golden Gate Capital gets to choose two directors to Coldwater Creek’s board.

Coldwater Creek’s week started with a bang, and then the market grew cautious

This past week Coldwater Creek got a dose of cash from a major investor. The announcement that Bay Area private equity firm Golden Gate Capital was lending $65 million helped boost the company's public stock to above 80 cents per share.

That's the highest it's been in since May.

Since Tuesday, the stock has drifted a bit lower, as can be expected. The good news: It's closing higher than it was last week.

The charts below, from Yahoo Finance, show the stock price over the past week. 

On Friday Coldwater Creek filed an amended report summarizing the investment from Golden Gate. Here's the explanation for where the $65 million will go: 
“The proceeds of the Term Loan Agreement will be used for debt repayment, to finance the acquisition of working capital assets, and for other general corporate purposes.  On July 9, 2012, the Company used $14.8 million of the proceeds to repay its term loan with Wells Fargo Bank.”

 

 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Opening Price

$0.46

$0.56

$0.80

$0.71

$0.67

Last Trade

$0.52

$0.80

$0.74

$0.67

$0.69

Price Change

$0.06

$0.24

$-0.06

$-0.04

$0.02

% Change

13.04%

42.86%

-7.5%

-5.63%

2.99%

Day´s High

$0.52

$0.82

$0.84

$0.71

$0.73

Day´s Low

$0.45

$0.56

$0.70

$0.66

$0.67

Volume

757,430

6,148,151

2,154,086

834,570

263,154


Cost cutting in Sandpoint and across the country: Coldwater Creek’s job cuts

Recently we took a look at the slow and painful progress Coldwater Creek has made in recovering from a difficult retail-apparel market.

One thing we couldn't get, in time for the story, was the change in headcount for the Sandpoint publicly traded company (CWTR is the Nasdaq symbol).

Cost cutting certainly has occurred. In 2010 the firm had 9,680 total workers, with 738 in Idaho.

As of June 2012 the numbers are 6,912 total employees and 589 in Idaho.

Coldwater Creek lowers fourth quarter expectations, but sees a turnaround

Sandpoint clothing retailer Coldwater Creek lowered its earlier estimate of losing 13 to 21 cents per share for the fourth quarter. It now expects losses in the 18 to 24 cents per share range.

During fourth quarter of 2010 the company saw a loss of 40 cents per share.

In an an update to its fourth-quarter guidance, Coldwater CEO Dennis Pence said the women’s apparel retailer saw softer than expected sales in late December including post-Christmas sales.

The company’s fiscal year and quarter ends Jan. 28. It reports year-end results on March 7.

Pence said sales at the Creek's premium stores during the last nine months of 2011 were 26 percent lower than the same period a year before.

But citing what he sees as a turnaround, Pence noted the fourth quarter’s 9 percent comparable decline in sales is a step in the right direction and reflects better management of inventory and expenses. The company said it expects to reduce expenses for the fiscal year by $20 million to $25 million.

Coldwater Creek compared on Motley Fool by a skeptical analyst

We expect things have to get better for Sandpoint clothing retailer Coldwater Creek. Its latest earnings showed a quarterly loss of nearly three times the amount it lost one year earlier. 

Then along comes an analysis appearing Thursday on The Motley Fool website, by analyst Anand Chokkavelu. His headline: “Is Coldwater Creek's Stock Cheap or Expensive By The Numbers?

Readers get plenty of numbers, including a few charts by which Coldwater Creek is measured against competitors Nordstrom, Talbots and Chico's FAS.  

Considering that Mr. Chokkavelu's job is stock picking, you'd expect him to give an answer to that question. And yes, he gets around finally to deciding the stock is not a good buy right now:

He concludes: “Add in no dividend and there isn't much to love about Coldwater Creek's initial numbers.

“I'm not impressed, but if you find Coldwater Creek's numbers or story compelling, don't stop. Continue your due diligence process until you're confident one way or the other.”
 
The chart here is a summary of analysts' projections of the four firms' five-year growth expectations. We're copying it from the Motley Fool page and trust that Chokkavelu got his data straight. 
 
Addendum: Stock trading for CWTR was pretty brisk Friday; can anyone offer a reason for that big spike in trading?
 

                     DEC5          DEC6           DEC7             DEC8               DEC9

Volume

725,951

689,418

1,596,546

722,912

1,719,185

 

Coldwater Creek closes West Virginia call center, leaving only one in CDA

Sandpoint clothing retailer Coldwater Creek is closing a West Virginia call center and concentrating that operation at its Coeur d’Alene location.

The change means the retailer won’t have an East Coast call center, except in situations where added support may be needed, said Coldwater Creek spokeswoman Bobbi Earle.

Coldwater Creek has had a 15-person call center and a distribution center in Parkesburg, West Va., for more than 10 years.  The 15 workers there were offered jobs inside Coldwater Creek’s distribution center there.

The change does not increase jobs in the Coeur d’Alene center, Earle noted. But it will mean more work hours for the staff there, she added.

Earle, in a press release, said the closure results from technology allowing the company to centralize call center work at one site.

Each holiday season Coldwater Creek hires extra call center workers. Last winter the company added 30 workers in Coeur d'Alene. She expects roughly the same this year.

Retail vet Jill Brown Dean joins Coldwater Creek as chief merchandising officer

Sandpoint clothing retailer Coldwater Creek announced Monday Jill Brown Dean will take over as the company's chief merchandising officer.

She'll take over the job held by Georgia Shonk Simmons, who had announced plans to retire. Dean will start on Feb. 14  — Valentine's Day. Simmons has worked with the company for more than a dozen years.

Dean has more than 25 years experience in retail and merchandising. Most recently she's been president of the Limited Too division of Tween Brands.  She also worked 18 years with Limited Brands as executive vice president, general manager for Victoria's Secret flagship stores, as well as CEO and president of Lane Bryant.

Coldwater Creek also said Jerome Jessup, currently executive vice president, creative director, is being promoted to president and chief creative officer.

Both execs will report to Dennis Pence, co-founder and CEO of Coldwater Creek.

Coldwater Creek’s North Idaho call center building for lease

Coldwater Creek is looking to sublease an empty office building it constructed in 2007 at 745 Hanley in Coeur d’Alene.

Originally meant as a second call center for the Sandpoint-based women’s clothing retailer, Coldwater Creek never occupied the building as the economy slipped off the tracks.

The empty CDA building  has two floors of open commercial space. Each floor has roughly 23,000 square feet of Class A space, said Chris Bell, the NAI Black agent representing Coldwater Creek.

Each floor can be divided into 11,000 square foot units as well, Black noted.

The building is due east of Coldwater Creek’s main Coeur d’Alene call center, which was built in 2000.

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