By RTT News, February 28, 2013, 07:45:00 AM EDT
(RTTNews.com) - Department store chain Sears Holdings Corp. ( SHLD ) reported Thursday a significantly narrower net loss in its fourth quarter, mainly reflecting the absence of prior year's hefty tax-related charges. Adjusted earnings more than doubled from last year. Meanwhile, revenues declined from last year on lower comparable store sales.
In pre-market activity, Sears Holdings shares are currently trading at $49, up $1.53 or 3.22 percent.
In its recently concluded fourth quarter, net loss attributable to shareholders was $489 million or $4.61 per share, versus last year's loss of $2.40 billion or $22.63 per share.
The latest quarter results included charges of $863 million related mainly to pension settlements and the impairment of Sears Canada goodwill balances. The prior-year results were hurt by various charges totaling $847 million, as well as tax charge of $1.7 billion to establish a valuation allowance against certain deferred income tax assets.
Adjusted earnings per share increased to $1.12 from $0.54 a year ago. On average, two analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $0.98 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.
Total revenues, from merchandise sales and services, declined to $12.26 billion from $12.48 billion last year, while analysts were looking for $11.77 billion.
The company attributed the decline in revenues mainly to the separation of the Sears Hometown and Outlet businesses, the effect of fewer Kmart and Sears Full-line stores in operation and lower comparable store sales. These were partially offset by the inclusion of an additional week of revenues and positive foreign currency exchange rates.
Domestic comparable-store sales slid 1.6 percent mainly due to a 3.7 percent decline at Kmart due to a significant decrease in the consumer electronics category, even as comps at Sears Domestic edged up 0.8 percent. Excluding the consumer electronics category, total domestic comparable-store sales decreased 0.2 percent.
Sears Canada's comparable store sales declined 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter. The company's integrated online business grew over 25 percent in the fourth quarter.
Gross margin rate increased 130 basis points for the fourth quarter.
In its fiscal year 2012, attributable net loss was $930 million or $8.78 per share, narrower than last year's loss of $3.14 billion or $29.40 per share. Adjusted loss per share for the year was $2.03 in 2012, compared to loss of $4.52 in 2011. Full-year revenues decreased to $39.85 billion from $41.57 billion last year. Domestic comparable store sales declined 2.5 percent.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward Lampert said, "Sears Holdings made progress in 2012 improving the profitability of our business, but we know there's more work to be done in 2013. 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."
For comments and feedback: contact firstname.lastname@example.org