Company News: Coldwater Creek will post loss in third quarter

FRIDAY, OCT. 12, 2007

Coldwater Creek Inc. will miss Wall Street analysts’ estimates and post a third-quarter loss, company officials announced Thursday.

The Sandpoint retailer of women’s apparel said it expects a third-quarter loss between 11 and 13 cents per share and sales between $260 million and $265 million. Analysts polled by Thompson Financial have predicted earnings of 14 cents per share on revenue of $300.2 million.

Dan Griesemer, who will become Coldwater Creek’s chief executive officer at the end of October, attributed the loss to declining traffic and clothing markdowns.

In other news, Coldwater Creek’s board of directors authorized a program to repurchase up to $75 million worth of common stock over the next 12 months. Board members believe that the current stock price doesn’t adequately reflect Coldwater Creek’s long-term value, according to a company news release.

Coldwater Creek’s stock closed at $10.87 per share Thursday, up 25 cents in daily trading. The stock’s 52-week high was $31.25 per share.

Troubled electronics maker Sanyo Electric Co. is in final negotiations to sell its mobile phone operations to Japanese rival Kyocera Corp., the companies said Thursday.

Under the talks, Kyocera has priority negotiating rights to buy the business, and they will work toward an agreement after assessing the value of Sanyo’s assets, they said in a joint statement.

No price was set for the deal, although the Nikkei reported that Kyocera offered 70 billion yen ($597 million).

The long-anticipated sale is a sign that Goldman Sachs and other investors, who last year saved Sanyo in a 300 billion yen ($2.56 billion) bailout, are finally seeing results.

Sanyo’s former president was ousted this spring after he refused to make major changes. Sanyo has already sold its small mobile phone retail business and dumped its remaining holdings in Sanyo Electric Credit Co.

Shares of Sony Corp.’s financial unit rose nearly 4 percent Thursday in their trading debut in Japan’s biggest initial public offering of the year.

The IPO of Sony Financial Holdings Inc. raised 348 billion yen ($2.97 billion), and is part of Sony’s efforts to refocus on its core electronics business. Sony is retaining a 60 percent stake in Sony Financial. It had owned 100 percent of the unit.

The stock closed at 415,000 yen ($3,547) on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, up 3.8 percent from its IPO price of 400,000 yen ($3,419). It was up as much as 5 percent during the day.

Sony Financial Holdings operates Sony Bank – an Internet bank founded in 2001 that focuses on long-term investments, loans and money management advice – as well as life and other insurance companies. It accounted for 9 percent of Sony’s group revenue in the fiscal year ended March.

It was the biggest IPO in Japan since Aozora Bank Ltd.’s 379.97 billion yen ($3.25 billion) listing in November.


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