NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Coldwater Creek ( CWTR) sank to their worst levels in more than 19 months on Thursday, falling nearly 10% on heavy volume, without a clear driver for the move beyond simmering investor frustration. "No specific news today but the Q3 report and outlook was very weak with no hope for new and improved lines until late March," said Sterne Agee analyst Margaret Whitfield in an email to TheStreet. "No doubt people are throwing in the towel."
The stock fell 29 cents, or 9.5%, to close at $2.77, its first finish below $3 since April 27, 2009. Volume of 5 million was more than six times the issue's trailing three-month daily average of around 885,000, and the heaviest session for the shares since Oct. 19 when the company disappointed Wall Street by forecasting a loss for its fiscal third quarter. Thursday's session low of $2.73 was the stock's worst intraday level since April 8, 2009. Year-to-date, the shares have fallen more than 31%. Sandpoint, Idaho-based Coldwater Creek attributed its surprise loss in the third quarter to customer dissatisfaction with its fall merchandise assortment as well as weak economic conditions and it gave investors little hope for the current fourth quarter in the Form 10-Q it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. "We expect the challenges we experienced with our fall assortment to continue during the fourth quarter," the company said. It continued: "In addition, weakness in consumer spending persists as a result of continued uncertain macroeconomic conditions reflected in reduced incomes, high unemployment and deterioration in household net worth. We believe these conditions continue to have a negative impact on our sales, gross margin and operating performance." Assuming that's the case, Coldwater Creek's actual quarterly loss could come in beyond the current average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a loss of 25 cents a share in the fiscal fourth quarter on sales of $282.8 million, a possibility that Sterne Agee's Whitfield referenced in a Dec. 2 research note following the release of the third-quarter report.