SANDPOINT, Idaho — In its first financial report since going public, Coldwater Creek Inc. said fourth-quarter income dipped 5.1 percent to $2.3 million, or 24 cents a share, from $2.4 million, or 28 cents, a year ago.
Sales surged 86.2 percent to $58.3 million from $31.3 million.
The earnings were adjusted for Coldwater’s January IPO, when the direct marketer offered 2.5 million shares at $15 each. Its stock jumped 1 1/2 to end at 16 3/4 in over-the-counter trading Tuesday. The latest results exclude a $1.4 million charge related to the initial public offering.
Operating income advanced 52.7 percent to $6 million. Gross margins dropped to 53.5 percent of sales from 57 percent in 1995. This was partially offset by a drop in selling, general and administrative expenses to 43.2 percent of sales from 44.4 percent last year.
“This performance reflects strong consumer growth resulting from our continued commitment to superior customer service, our timely investments in infrastructure and the broad appeal of our catalogs and merchandise,” Dennis Pense, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“In that regard” he noted, “we recently reached a new milestone, with over 1.1 million customers in our active customer file.”
Pense noted that Coldwater experienced strong demand in its core “Northcountry” catalog, as well as in the broadened apparel assortment in its “Spirit of the West” women’s apparel catalog, and the new “Milepost Four” men’s catalog.
For the year, earnings leaped 84.2 percent to $5.9 million, or 66 cents, from $3.4 million, or 40 cents. Both periods were adjusted for the IPO to make them comparable. Sales ran up 47 percent to $143.1 million from $75.9 million.
Coldwater Creek is a direct marketer of apparel, gifts and jewelry.

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