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What: Shares of apparel retailer Coldwater Creek
So what: Even when the news is bad, management teams generally try to make earnings announcements an upbeat affair. That just wasn't possible for Coldwater Creek when it released its numbers yesterday. The only good news is that the company still has a strong balance sheet with more than $50 million in cash and no bank debt -- though that cash tally dropped by more than $30 million from last year. The rest of the numbers were downright ugly. Total sales fell 21% year over year to $252 million, which was well short of the $283 million that analysts had expected. Margins fell across the board and the company's loss per share jumped from an adjusted $0.10 per share last year to $0.37.
Now what: Despite the big loss, the company burned less than $1 million in operations during the year. While that's like saying that your boat isn't sinking that fast, it does mean that Coldwater potentially has some breathing room to turn around its business. And that's exactly how management is looking at it as CEO Dennis Pence called 2011 "a transitional year." By a number of metrics, Coldwater's stock looks cheap at these levels, but that doesn't mean a whole lot if it can't get its bottom line back in the black.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.