Here’s everything you need to know about Sears’ earnings


Sears Holdings, the parent company of Sears and Kmart stores, is set to report third-quarter earnings before the bell on Thursday.

Last month, Sears pre-announced its quarterly results when it unveiled the retailer had struck a deal with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. over its pension obligations, clearing the way for Sears to try to sell about 140 additional properties. In exchange, Sears said it will pay $407 million to the plan.

The department store chain’s total same-store sales were expected to tumble 15.3 percent during the latest period, Sears said in early November.

At the time, Sears reported total revenue of roughly $3.7 billion for the fiscal third quarter, compared with $5 billion a year ago. Recent store closures contributed to most of these declines, the company explained.

Sales have been further hampered by a reduction in the number of pharmacies open in Kmart stores, and fewer consumer electronics sold.

“The retail environment remains challenging, with continued pressures on sales,” management explained in an October statement.

Meantime, Sears said its third-quarter net loss should improve by about $190 million. The company has forecast losing between $525 million and $595 million, compared with a $748 million loss in the same period last year.

Sears added it expects to reach positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2018.

Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert has said Sears is “fighting like hell” amid pressure from vendors and negative headlines in the media. Sears continues to fire off announcements of store closures, though the company says it’s doing so in a bid to return to profitability.

In October, Lampert’s right-hand man and a long-time top Sears investor, Bruce Berkowitz, announced his plans to retire from the department store chain’s board.

Berkowitz has since been cashing out of Seritage, a spin-off of Sears’ real estate. His investment firm, Fairholme Capital Management, also sold all its shares in Lands End during the third quarter, a securities filing shows. Sears acquired the apparel retailer in 2002, then spun it off as an IPO a little more than a decade later.

This holiday season marks a crucial one for Sears, as the company has fought several battles with top vendors of late, some resulting in terminated contracts altogether. For the month of November, Sears put its entire fleet of Sears and Kmart stores on sale, marking merchandise down as much as 50 percent.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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