Sears Narrows Loss But Comps Plummet In Q3

Sears managed to narrow its net loss in the third quarter following its store closures and cost cutting. But comps remained dismal, declining in double digits for both Sears and Kmart.

For the third quarter, Sears Holdings Corp. posted a company net loss of $558 million, or $5.19 per diluted share, versus a company net loss of $748 million, or a $6.99 per diluted share, for the year-previous period. Adjusted loss per share came in at $2.64 versus an adjusted loss of $3.11 per share in the year-earlier period. An analyst average estimate from MarketBeat called for a loss of $4.46 per adjusted share.

Company comparable store sales declined 15.3% during the quarter, with Kmart comps declining 13% and Sears comps declining 17%. Total revenues for the quarter were $3.66 billion versus revenues of $5.03 billion in the year-earlier period. Sears added that store closures accounted for about half of the decline.

Operating loss was $419 million as compared with $624 million in the quarter a year earlier.

“In the third quarter, we continued to narrow our losses and delivered another quarter of adjusted EBITDA improvement of at least $100 million,” said Edward Lampert, Sears Holdings chairman and CEO. “With the challenging retail landscape continuing to pressure sales, the improvement in adjusted EBITDA is reflective of the success of the strategic priorities we outlined earlier this year to streamline our operations, reduce inventory and minimize operating expenses, as well as our commitment to our goal of restoring positive adjusted EBITDA in 2018. Our Shop Your Way membership program and integrated retail strategy remain a key focus for us in order to meet the needs of our members and provide our members with the best experience possible throughout the holiday shopping season.”

Lampert said that initiatives going forward include continuing to develop new ways to leverage the Shop Your Way loyalty platform to invest marketing dollars at the member level; diversifying revenue streams through third-party partnerships in businesses segments including Sears Home Services, Innovel, Kenmore and DieHard; further building on the momentum around dedicated concept stores as exemplified by the recent opening of Sears Appliances and Mattress stores in Camp Hill, PA, and Honolulu, HI; and maintaining a cost discipline focus in light of continued headwinds across the retail sector.