Sears profit plunges 99 percent

By @ibtimes on

Sears Holdings Corp reported sharply lower quarterly profit on Thursday as sales at stores open at least a year fell at its U.S. Kmart and Sears stores.

Sears Holdings, which has offered to buy boutique furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware for about $269 million, posted net earnings of $2 million, or 1 cent per share, for the third quarter ended November 3, compared with $196 million, or $1.27 a share, a year earlier.

Analysts were expecting the company to earn 50 cents per share, but Reuters Estimates said it was not immediately clear whether the estimate compared with the announced results.

Aylwin Lewis, Sears Holdings' chief executive, said in a news release, We are very disappointed in our performance for the third quarter. We cannot blame our results entirely on the retail and macro-economic environments. We have much on which to improve and are working hard to do so.

Sears did say, though, that increased competition, weakness in the housing and consumer credit markets, and unseasonably warm weather dragged down sales of apparel and other seasonal merchandise in the quarter.

Revenue declined $400 million to $11.5 billion as domestic same-store sales fell 4.2 percent at Sears stores and 5 percent at Kmart stores, pulling total domestic same-store sales down 4.6 percent.

(Reporting by Christopher Kaufman and Justin Grant; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and John Wallace)

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