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Sears Holdings Posts Wider Q3 Loss, Shares Down

Sears Holdings Posts Wider Q3 Loss, Shares Down
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Department store chain Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD: Quote), Thursday reported a net loss in the third quarter that widened from a year ago, as revenues declined reflecting fewer full-line stores and lower comparable store sales. Last year's bottom line also included an income tax benefit.

Following the news, shares of Sears Holdings fell six percent in after hours trade on the Nasdaq.

Sears Holdings, which operates namesake stores and Kmart brand, said its third-quarter revenues declined to $8.86 billion from $9.41 billion last year.

Sears Holdings blamed the effect of fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores in operation and lower domestic comparable store sales for the decline in revenues.

Third-quarter domestic comparable store sales, or sales at stores open for at least a year, fell 3.1 percent, with 1.6 percent drop at US Sears stores and 4.8 percent at Kmart, hurt mainly by declines in consumer electronics, grocery and household, lawn and garden, and pharmacy.

Sears Canada's comparable store sales also decreased 5.7 percent, reflecting sales decline in snow throwers, electronics, home decor, women's and men's apparel.

Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Lou D'Ambrosio said, "...We did experience shortfalls, however, in categories like Grocery and Household and Consumer Electronics, and are taking actions to improve that performance."

Gross margin for the quarter slipped to 25.4 percent from 25.5 percent last year, while selling and administrative costs, as a percentage of revenues, increased to 28.2 percent from 28.0 percent last year.

Sears Holdings' third-quarter loss widened to $498 million or $4.70 per share from $421 million or $3.95 per share last year.

On an adjusted basis, loss from continuing operations narrowed to $1.99 per share from $2.55 per share last year.

In the year-ago period, results included an income tax benefit of $91 million, compared to a income tax expense of $11 million this third quarter.

SHLD closed Thursday's trading at $58.48, up $0.06 or 0.10%. In after hours, the stock lost $3.48 or 5.95%.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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