Sears shedding some stores, reports 4Q loss

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Sears Holdings Corp. is looking toward its substantial real estate portfolio to offset its weak financial performance.

The operator of Kmart, Sears and Land's End says it will spin off some stores and sell others as it seeks to regain profitability and market share.

The chain, led by billionaire Eddie Lampert, has faced slumping sales as consumers turn elsewhere for goods such as clothes and appliances. Investors have long speculated that Lampert's long-range plan could be to unlock the value of the company's massive real estate holdings.

Sears plans were well received by investors and shares rose 20 pecent at midday.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company said it will spin off its smaller Hometown and Outlet stores as well as some hardware stores in a deal expected to raise $400 million to $500 million. In a separate deal, Sears will sell 11 stores to the real estate company General Growth Properties for $270 million.

It reported swinging to a $2.4 billion loss in the fourth-quarter while revenue fell 4 percent to $12.48 billion. Adjusted earnings totaled 54 cents per share, below analyst expectations.

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