Sears Public Relations And Communications
Sears Holdings Announces November and December Comparable Store Sales and Fourth Quarter Outlook
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sears Holdings
Corporation (the "Company", "we", "us", or "our") (Nasdaq: SHLD) today
announced domestic comparable store sales for the nine-week period ended
January 5, 2008 for its Kmart and Sears stores. Sears Domestic's comparable
store sales declined by 2.8% during the nine-week period, while Kmart's
comparable store sales declined by 4.2%. Total domestic comparable stores
sales declined 3.5% for the nine-week period. We experienced lower sales
across most categories, with notable declines in the Sears apparel and
tools categories and the Kmart seasonal categories. These decreases were
partially offset by increased sales within home electronics at both store
formats. We believe that comparable store sales results reflect increased
competition and the negative impact of unfavorable economic conditions,
such as a weak housing market and consumer credit concerns.
Gross margin rates for this nine-week period declined approximately 200
basis points due to the highly promotional nature of this holiday selling
season, markdowns taken to clear seasonal products and the relatively high
proportion of sales attributable to the home electronics category, which
has a lower margin rate. As a result of the lower sales and gross margin
rates, we currently expect that net income for the fourth quarter ending
February 2, 2008 will be between $350 million and $470 million, or between
$2.59 and $3.48 per fully diluted share. In the fourth quarter of the prior
year, the Company reported net income of $820 million, or $5.33 per fully
For the full year ending February 2, 2008, the Company expects net
income to be between $744 million and $864 million, or between $5.13 and
$5.96 per fully diluted share.
During the ten weeks ended January 11, 2008, we repurchased 4.9 million
common shares at a total cost of $513 million (or $105.46 per share) under
our share repurchase program. As of January 11, 2008 we had remaining
authorization to repurchase $223 million of common shares under the
previously approved programs.
We currently expect to end the fiscal year with approximately $1
billion in cash and cash equivalents, excluding Sears Canada. The expected
cash and cash equivalents balance indicated does not give effect to any
share repurchase activity after January 11, 2008. In addition, we expect
year-end domestic merchandise inventory will be below the prior year-end
level of $9.2 billion, even after including an increase of approximately
$160 million from the conversion of previously consigned inventory to owned
inventory in Kmart's pharmacy business.
Results are unaudited. This press release contains forward-looking
statements about our expectations. Forward-looking statements are subject
to risks and uncertainties that may cause our actual results, performance
or achievements to be materially different from any future results,
performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking
statements. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and
expectations of our management and are subject to significant risks and
uncertainties. Risks and uncertainties include the possibility that we fail
to offer products and services that satisfy the desires of our customers,
whose preferences may change in the future, or other factors outside the
control of Holdings. Actual results may differ materially from those set
forth in the forward-looking statements. We intend the forward-looking
statements to speak only as of the time made and does not undertake to
update or revise them as more information becomes available.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation is the nation's fourth largest broadline
retailer, with over $50 billion in annual revenues, and approximately 3,800
full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada.
Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader
in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and
maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard,
and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands'
End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington
brands. We also have Martha Stewart Everyday products, which are offered
exclusively in the U.S. by Kmart and in Canada by Sears Canada. We are the
nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 13 million
service calls made annually. For more information, visit Sears Holdings'
website at http://www.searsholdings.com.
SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation
Web site: http://www.searsholdings.com
CONTACT: Sears Holdings Public Relations, +1-847-286-8371