Sears Swings to 1Q Loss But Revenue Beats Estimates

Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) posted results Thursday that reveal the retailer suffered a deeper-than-expected first-quarter loss amid slumping sales.

The parent of Sears and Kmart said it lost $170 million, or $1.58 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $16 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it lost $1.39 a share, significantly worse than the Street’s view of $1.22.

Net sales declined 3.4% to $9.71 billion, surpassing consensus calls for $9.63 billion. Domestic same-store sales declined 3.6% as comparable sales dropped 5.2% at Sears and 1.6% at Kmart.

“Our first quarter was adversely impacted by unfavorable weather, economic pressures facing our customers, and comparisons to last year's government-sponsored stimulus program relating to the purchase of appliances,” CEO Lou D'Ambrosio said in a statement. “However, we also fell short on executing with excellence. We cannot control the weather or economy or government spending. But we can control how we execute and leverage the potent set of assets we have.”

The company said declining revenue at Sears was hurt primarily by weaker sales of appliance, apparel and consumer electronics. Kmart’s weakness was driven by decreases in sales of food and consumables and pharmacy categories.

Shares of Sears declined 1.91% to $74.34 ahead of Thursday’s open, cutting into their 2.85% 2011 gain.