Cache tumbles on weak 3rd-quarter outlook

NEW YORK -- Shares of Cache Inc. sank Friday after the women's clothing retailer announced disappointing preliminary results for the third quarter.

Cache forecast a larger loss and lower sales compared to a year ago, and its stock fell nearly 20 percent in midday trading, to its lowest level in more than three years.

Cache said it will lose 39 to 41 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 29, and its revenue will be down about 6 percent, to $45.8 million. Sales at locations open at least a year fell 3 percent. Those sales are considered an important measurement of retailer performance because they exclude results from stores that opened or closed within the last 12 months.

Cache is a mall-based retailer with 262 stores in 42 states as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In the third quarter of fiscal 2011 it lost 14 cents per share on $48.7 million in revenue.

The company said it has implemented a cost-cutting program that should save it $3 million in fiscal 2013. Cache also said it has hired an executive search firm to help find a president and chief merchandising officer.

Cache shares fell 60 cents, or 18.5 percent, to $2.65. Earlier in the session the stock dropped to $2.49, its lowest price since April 2009. Cache shares have closed as high as $7.88 in the last 52 weeks.