Sears posts profit due to tax benefit, shares rise

Sears Holdings said a key sales figure fell during the important holiday shopping season, but the struggling department store operator posted a profit for the quarter, mainly due to a tax benefit.

Shares of Sears Holdings Corp., which fell more than 70 percent in the last year, rose almost 9 percent in extended trading Wednesday.

The owner of Sears and Kmart has been closing stores, cutting costings and selling brands to save money and deal with falling sales.

During the fourth quarter, which included the holiday season, sales fell 15.6 percent at established stores.

It reported net income of $182 million after reporting a loss of $607 million in the same period a year ago. Much of that gain included a $470 million tax benefit from recent U.S. law that cut corporate tax rates.

On a per-share basis, the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based company said it had profit of $1.69 in the three months that ended Feb. 3. Losses, adjusted for pretax gains, were $2.01 per share.

Revenue fell 28 percent to $4.38 billion.

The company said it has just over 1,000 stores, down from 1,430 a year ago.

Its stock was up 21 cents at $2.63 in after-market trading following the release of the earnings report.


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