Sears Holdings Corp posted a large fourth-quarter net loss of $2.40 billion compared with $374 million profit last year resulting in its statement that it would sell or spin off many of its stores to boost liquidity.
The quarterly loss per share totals $22.63, as against a profit of $3.43 a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share plunged to $0.54 from $3.67 in the comparable period in the last year.
Total revenues for the quarter decreased to $12.48 billion from $13.0 billion in the earlier year period. The company attributed the declines in total revenue mainly to lower comparable store sales and the effect of having fewer Kmart and Sears Full-line stores in operation.
Chief Executive Officer Lou D’Ambrosio said in the statement that the company was taking immediate actions to address the losses, including cost and inventory reductions, targeted marketing and hiring for its merchandising team.
Our poor financial results in 2011, culminating in a very poor fourth quarter, underscore the need to accelerate the transformation of Sears Holdings, Chairman Edward Lampert said in a letter to shareholders. While some may claim that these results are a continuation of a trend, I believe that they are an anomaly, he added.
Sears said in December that it would close up to 120 stores after struggling through a difficult holiday season. D'Ambrosio said that, moving forward, the company would try to leverage technology to better connect with customers who are increasingly using smartphones to shop.
“Our media and shopping channels are blurring, he said in a conference call with analysts. We believe the retailers who best use technology to integrate the customer experience across all channels will be the ones who win, he added.
Sears Holdings agreed to sell eleven Sears full-line store locations to mall operator General Growth Properties, Inc. for $270 million and the deal is expected to close in April 2012. The company also plans to spin-off about 1,250 of its Sears Hometown and Outlet Businesses and certain hardware stores through a proposed rights offering.