By and  on March 3, 2010

Higher charges and lower revenues pulled Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. to a wider fourth-quarter loss, the company said late Tuesday.

In the three months ended Dec. 31, the New York-based company logged a net loss of $52 million, or $2.88 a diluted share, versus a loss of$12 million, or 67 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Excluding one-time charges for severance, asset impairment and an adjustment in the firm’s deferred tax asset balance, the company earned $3.8 million, or 21 cents, matching Yahoo Finance’s consensus analyst estimate, against a loss of $4.8 million, or 27 cents, in the 2008 period.

Total revenues fell 13.6 percent to $109.4 million from $126.6 million, which included a 14.3 percent decrease in sales to $98.5 million. The firm attributed the decreases primarily to its planned exit from unprofitable businesses.

For the year, the loss was $63.2 million, or $3.52 a diluted share, on total revenues that slid 16.6 percent to $410.4 million. On an adjusted basis, the loss was $6.4 million, or 36 cents a diluted share, in 2009.

“We are showing improvement in many areas of our organization, but our biggest opportunities are still in front of us,” said Kenneth Cole, chairman and chief creative officer. “In 2010, we must continue to focus on product innovation and execute at a higher level to deliver increased value to our shareholders.”

The firm this week inked an agreement with Macy’s for an exclusive Reaction men’s sportswear collection set to launch for holiday 2010 in 150 Macy’s stores.

Retail stocks were weighed down Tuesday by Staples Inc., where profit projections missed Wall Street projections, and the S&P Retail Index retreated 0.8 percent, or 3.53 points, to 424.79 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up 2.19 points to 10,405.98. (For more on stocks, see page 14.)

Asian markets were mixed, with the Nikkei 225 rising 0.5 percent to 10,221.84 in Tokyo, while the Hang Seng Index slipped 0.7 percent to 20,906.11 in Hong Kong and the SSE Composite Index fell 0.5 percent to 3,073.11 in Shanghai.

The FTSE 100 rose 1.5 percent to 5,484.06 in London and the CAC 40 advanced 1.1 percent to 3,811.92 in Paris.

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