NEW YORK (AP) — Coldwater Creek's co-founder and CEO Dennis Pence plans to retire at year's end. The announcement came as the women's clothing and accessories company also reported that its fiscal third-quarter loss narrowed as revenue climbed and expenses declined.

Its quarterly performance topped Wall Street's view.

Coldwater Creek Inc. said late Wednesday that President and Chief Merchandising Officer Jill Brown Dean will become its new CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2013. She will also become a board member at that time.

Dean has worked at the retailer since February 2011. She previously served as president of the Limited Too unit of Tween Brands. She has also served as president and CEO of Limited Brands' Lane Bryant division.

Coldwater Creek said that Pence will remain with the Sandpoint, Idaho, company as a board member. He will continue to serve as chairman until Jan. 1, 2014.

For the third quarter, Coldwater Creek lost $20.5 million, or 67 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $29.2 million, or $1.24 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding 22 cents per share related to a change in the fair value of a derivative liability, the company lost 45 cents per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a bigger loss of 75 cents per share.

Selling, general and administrative expenses dropped to $76.1 million from $84.5 million.

Revenue for the three months ended Oct. 27 rose slightly to $188.1 million from $187.5 million. Wall Street forecast $180.8 million.

Revenue from premium retail stores open at least a year increased 7.3 percent. This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Pence said in a statement that shoppers responded well to its fall merchandise.

Looking ahead, Coldwater Creek foresees a fourth-quarter adjusted loss of 55 cents to 65 cents per share. Revenue at premium retail stores open at least a year is expected to be flat to down in the low single digits.

Analysts predict a loss of 50 cents per share.

Its shares finished at $4.87 on Wednesday.



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