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Kenneth Cole Narrows Q1 Loss

The company said that while wholesale revenues rose 3 percent, same-store sales fell by 2 percent in the quarter.

Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. narrowed its losses in the first quarter even as sales waned.

Investors traded the stock down 3.2 percent to $15.39 Thursday, but are still holding out for the designer to sweeten his offer to buy the firm outright.

In February, Kenneth Cole, chairman and chief creative officer, offered to buy out other stockholders at $15 a share. He already owns about 47 percent of the company’s common stock. A special committee of the firm’s board is still considering the offer.

The company recently introduced a higher-priced, more-advanced women’s and men’s line and analysts have said the brand could be more easily repositioned away from the gaze of Wall Street — and reports such as this one, shining a spotlight on quarterly operations.

For the three months ended March 31, the company posted a loss of $1.9 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a deficit of $17.2 million, or 94 cents, a year earlier. The year-ago loss included $12.5 million in charges connected with store closings and severance.

Total revenues dipped 0.5 percent to $116.8 million from $117.5 million, while net sales were flat at $107.7 million with a 2 percent decline in comparable-store sales. The firm’s wholesale sales rose 3 percent to $76.7 million. Royalty income declined 6.3 percent to $9.2 million as the firm transitioned the women’s apparel business to an in-house operation from a licensing model.