posts loss for 9th straight qtr as sales fall again
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[August 21, 2014]
(Reuters) - Sears Holdings
Corp, owner of Sears department stores and the Kmart
discount chain, reported its ninth straight quarterly
loss as sales continued to shrink, sending its shares
down 5 percent in light premarket trading.
The company, controlled by hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, said
quarterly revenue fell 9.7 percent, reflecting the impact of the
separation of its Lands' End clothing business, store closures and
sales declines at Sears Canada Inc.
Same-store sales fell 1.7 percent at Kmart stores in the United
States in the second quarter. Sears had 2,302 stores in the country
as of Aug. 2, of which 1,077 were Kmarts.
The company's sales have been falling since 2005 amid stiff
competition from retailers such as Target Corp, Wal-Mart Stores Inc
and Home Depot Inc. Online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc
have also eaten into the company's customer base.
Sears has closed about 300 stores since 2010 in an attempt to turn
around its business.
The company has also been trying to sell its 51 percent stake in
Sears Canada, which reported its ninth loss in 14 quarters on
Sears said on Thursday it continued to explore with Bank of America
Merrill Lynch a sale of its stake in Sears Canada or the sale of the
entire Canadian company. Sears Canada had a market value of about
$1.5 billion as of Wednesday.
Sears also said it might close more than the 130 stores it had
earlier planned to shut this year.
The loss attributable to the company's shareholders widened to $573
million, or $5.39 per share, in the second quarter ended Aug. 2 from
$194 million, or $1.83 per share, a year earlier.
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Revenue declined to $8.01 billion from $8.87 billion.
Excluding items, Sears posted a loss of $3.00 per share, according
to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Analysts on average had expected a loss of $2.63 per share and
revenue of $8.13 billion.
Sears shares were down at $34 before the bell. Up to Wednesday's
close, the stock had fallen 5.8 percent this year.
(Reporting by Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)
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