April 2, 2014 in Business

Briefcase: Coldwater Creek looking at bankruptcy, Wall Street Journal reports

From Staff And Wire Reports
 

Struggling apparel retailer Coldwater Creek may file for bankruptcy protection soon, according to sources quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

The Sandpoint-based publicly traded company has seen its stock price plummet, sales sag and investors raise concerns about its direction.

It posted revenue of roughly $155 million for fiscal 2013 third quarter, compared with $188 million for the prior-year quarter.

Efforts to speak to company managers were unsuccessful Tuesday.

The Journal report said bankruptcy protection could be filed within about a week, citing “people familiar with the matter.” Those sources were not identified.

Coldwater Creek’s stock price has lingered below $1 since mid-November, raising the possibility of delisting from the Nasdaq exchange.

The company share price rose 2 cents to 24 cents in after-hours trading.

U.S. manufacturing increased in March

WASHINGTON – U.S. manufacturing grew at a slightly faster pace in March compared with February as factory output recovered from disruptions caused by severe winter weather. Manufacturers also received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen a bit in the months ahead.

The Institute for Supply Management, a group of purchasing managers, said Tuesday that its manufacturing index increased to 53.7 from 53.2 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Airbnb agrees to pay San Francisco hotel tax

SAN FRANCISCO – Online home rental service Airbnb has agreed to pay San Francisco’s 14 percent hotel tax, addressing at least one concern of critics who say the company is flouting regulations.

Under the plan, Airbnb would collect taxes directly from guests as an extra charge on their bill – the same way hotels do, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday.

The San Francisco-based company, which connects travelers with people renting out their homes, said it will begin remitting taxes to the city by the summer. Out of the 32,000 cities worldwide where Airbnb operates, San Francisco and Portland would be the first ones where it collects hotel taxes. The company agreed last week to collect taxes in Portland.

Eurozone jobless rate stuck near record high

BRUSSELS – The 18-country eurozone may have emerged from recession last year, but that has done little good to the jobs market, with unemployment stuck near a record high since then.

A new report on Tuesday showed that while the number of jobless in the currency union dipped in February, the unemployment rate remained at 11.9 percent – where it has been since October after peaking at 12.1 percent earlier in the year.

The figures, published by the Eurostat statistical agency, illustrate how long it will take for the continent’s hardest-hit countries to return to economic health after years of financial upheaval.

Japan raises sales tax despite slow economy

TOKYO – Japan raised its sales tax Tuesday, moving to stabilize government finances but at the risk of undermining a shaky economic recovery.

It’s a gamble the world’s No. 3 economy must take, given its soaring public debt.

Economists expect the sales tax hike, to 8 percent from 5 percent, to slow but not derail the recovery. It is the first such increase since 1997.


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