Shares in Sears have fallen 16 percent since the company released its third quarter results:
Sears reported a third quarter net loss of $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.The company said revenue fell 5.8 percent from a year ago, to $8.86 billion.Sears’ revenues have fallen for the past five years, as the 126-year-old retailer has struggled to fend off more nimble, faster-growing rivals.Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased by $34 million in the quarter, to a loss of $156 million compared with a year ago’s $190 million loss. Profits improved for appliances and home services, but results disappointed for electronics and household products. Sears reported a fifth straight quarter of increased apparel sales. Cash balances fell to $633 million in the quarter from $754 million as of Jan. 28. The cash position held steady from last year’s $632 million. Debt totaled $4 billion versus the year ago’s $3.5 billion on Jan. 28 and $4.5 billion a year ago.
Meanwhile, J. C. Penney, which has been in Northpark Mall since it opened four decades ago has also run into hard times as it tries to reinvent itself:
The first sign that things were falling apart came in May when rival Macy’s Inc. told analysts that sales were rising at its stores that share malls with Penney locations. A week later, Penney posted a $163 million quarterly loss. Revenue plunged 20 percent to $3.15 billion. The number of customers visiting stores fell 10 percent.Wall Street didn’t like the changes any more than Main Street did. A day after it posted the loss, Penney’s stock fell nearly 20 percent — its biggest one-day decline in four decades — to $26.75. That same month, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its credit rating to junk status.