Sears 3rd-quarter net loss widens

Associated Press Modified: November 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm •  Published: November 15, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holding Corp. said Thursday that its adjusted third-quarter loss narrowed, as the company pushed to turn around its ailing business.

But sales in stores open at least one year continued to tumble in both its Kmart and Sears stores, and investors sent shares down nearly 6 percent in aftermarket trading.

To restore profitability, Sears has embarked on a plan to aggressively cut costs, reduce inventory, sell off some assets and spin off others. The company is facing falling sales and tough competition as the crucial holiday season — when a retailer can make up to 40 percent of annual revenue — revs up.

"We will continue to take the actions necessary to create value and retain the flexibility to invest in the strategic priorities of our company," said CEO Lou D'Ambrosio in a statement.

The company also outlined its holiday plans, which include opening Sears and Kmart stores at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, offering exclusive toys, improving its in-store holiday displays and offering coupons and other incentives to loyalty program members.

"Our products and our integrated retail experience are coming together this holiday season," said Ron Boire, chief merchandising officer, in a conference call with investors.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company controlled by financier Eddie Lampert lost $498 million, or $4.70 per share. That compares with a loss of $421 million, or $3.95 per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items related to tax expenses, store closings and pension expense, Sears lost $1.99 per share, compared with $2.50 per share on the same basis last year.

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