VAN NUYS, Calif. (AP) ¿ Cherokee Inc., which licenses its brand to shoe and clothing makers, said Tuesday its profit fell 15 percent in the third quarter as sales were nearly flat and taxes rose. Its stock fell. The company, based in Van Nuys, Calif, earned $2.8 million, or 31 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Oct. 31. That is down from the $3.3 million, or 37 cents per share, it earned a year earlier. Revenue rose by less than 1 percent, or $5,000, to stay at $8 million. The company plans to pay a dividend of 50 cents per share on Dec. 16, as it previously announced. Cherokee also licenses the Sideout brand. Its shares fell 65 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $16.90 in late afternoon trading.