News Column

Sears Narrows Losses in Q4

February 28, 2013

Corilyn Shropshire

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Sears Holdings Corp. said it narrowed losses in the fourth quarter and for the year.

The Hoffman Estates-based retailer posted a net loss for the year of $930 million or $8.78 per share. This compares to last year, when the retailer posted a net loss of $3.14 billion or $29.40 per share. Wall Street was expecting

Sears also narrowed its losses in the fourth quarter. The company said it loss $489 million or $4.61 per share for the three months ended Feb. 3, compared to a loss of $2.4 billion or $22.47 per share in the fourth quarter last year.

Sales in the fourth quarter declined to $12.2 billion down from $12.4 billion during the same period the year before. Sales for the year also declined to $39.8 billion compared to $41.5 billion last year.

Sears said lower sales were due in part to the spinoff of its Sears Hometown and Outlet business last year as well as having fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores in operation.

Sales in stores open at least a year -- an important measure of retail health -- also declined overall a total of 1.6 percent -- mainly due to a sales decrease of 3.7 percent at Kmart stores in all categories including pharmacy, consumer electronics, grocery and household and drug stores items. The figure also includes a sales increase at Sears domestic stores of .8 percent.

Company officials said the company would continue to look for ways generate $500 million in liquidity in 2013, though it was not specific about how.

"Sears Holdings made progress in 2012 improving the profitability of our business, but we know there's more work to be done in 2013," said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings' Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in a statement." Our focus continues to be on our core customers, our Members, and finding ways to provide them value and convenience through Integrated Retail and our Shop Your Way membership platform. We have invested significantly in our online ecommerce platforms, our Membership rewards program and the technology needed to support these initiatives."



Source: (c)2013 the Chicago Tribune Distributed by MCT Information Services


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