January 15, 2008 in Business

Business in brief: Coldwater posts loss estimate

The Spokesman-Review
 

Coldwater Creek Inc. will post a fourth-quarter loss of 16 to 20 cents per share, officials estimated Monday.

Earlier, executives had projected that the Sandpoint retailer would break even during its fiscal fourth quarter, which ends Feb. 3.

Last week, Coldwater Creek announced that it cut 65 positions companywide in order to save $6 million. Fifty-one of the layoffs occurred at the company’s corporate office in Sandpoint.

“We are clearly disappointed with our overall financial performance,” said Dan Griesemer, company president and chief executive officer.

He said the company is looking at a number of corrective measures, including refining its clothing assortment, cutting marketing costs, and “moderating” future retail expansion. Coldwater Creek operates more than 300 stores aimed at female shoppers age 35 and older, in addition to its catalog and Internet presence.

The past 12 months have been challenging for the women’s apparel industry, with consumers reining in spending amid higher costs for food, gas and heating oil.

In after-hours trading, Coldwater Creek’s stock dropped 70 cents per share, or 13.6 percent, to $4.45 per share.

Becky Kramer

NEW YORK

Comcast receives inquiry letters

Comcast Corp. Monday said it has received letters of inquiry from the Federal Communications Commission regarding complaints that the company actively interferes with its subscribers’ Internet traffic.

A coalition of consumer groups and legal scholars asked the agency in November to stop Comcast from discriminating against the sharing of certain types of Internet data among subscribers.

Vuze Inc., a company that distributes video using BitTorrent file-sharing technology, later filed a separate complaint, asking the FCC to clarify how much power Internet service providers have in controlling traffic on their lines.

In an investigation last year, the Associated Press found that Comcast in some cases hindered file sharing by subscribers who used BitTorrent. The findings confirmed claims by users who also noticed interference with other file-sharing applications.

Comcast denies it blocks file sharing, but acknowledges milder interventions to improve the flow of traffic for the majority of its customers.

Associated Press

LONDON

Virgin Atlantic to test biofuel jet

Virgin Atlantic said Monday it would fly one of its Boeing 747 planes on biofuel during a demonstration flight from London to Amsterdam next month.

Virgin Atlantic Chairman Richard Branson said the test flight, which he called the first of its kind, would yield crucial information on how to reduce aviation’s carbon footprint.

Branson launched an alternative fuels division at Virgin in 2006, pledging the profits from his airline and trains for 10 years.

Associated Press


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