“HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Sears posted a smaller loss in the fourth quarter as it reduced its inventory and expenses while sales at its namesake stores rose slightly.
The retailer’s stock climbed more than 3 percent in premarket trading on Thursday.
The company that also owns the Kmart store chain lost $489 million, or $4.61 per share, for the period ended Feb. 2. That compares with a loss of $2.4 billion, or $22.63 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding certain items, earnings from continuing operations were $1.12 per share.
Revenue fell 2 percent to $12.26 billion from $12.48 billion. Sears said this was mostly due to the separation of its Sears Hometown and Outlet businesses; the impact of having fewer Kmart and Sears stores in operation and lower revenue from stores open at least a year. This was somewhat offset by having an extra week in the period.
Revenue at U.S. stores open at least a year dropped 1.6 percent in the quarter.
This metric is a key gauge of a retailer’s health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.
Revenue at domestic Sears stores open at least a year edged up 0.8 percent, helped by strength in the clothing, home appliance and home categories. The figure dropped 3.7 percent for Kmart locations and fell 3.8 percent for Sears Canada.
A good part of the drag on results was softness in consumer electronics. Removing this category, total revenue at U.S. stores open at least a year dipped 0.2 percent while Sears rose 2.4 percent and Kmart declined 2.5 percent….”Twitter