By  on September 11, 2007

Sears Holdings Corp. said Monday that J. Miles Reidy will take the company's chief financial officer post starting in October — ending a nine-month search.

Reidy, who also will serve as executive vice president, replaces William C. Crowley, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and a Sears Holdings' board member, who has held the cfo position on an interim basis.

Reidy, formerly Capital One Financial Corp.'s "financial cost executive," will report to Crowley.

"We have asked Miles to bring to Sears Holdings this rigorous approach to testing and creating value through data-driven decisions," said Crowley in a statement.

In January, Sears started searching for a cfo after announcing Craig T. Monaghan, executive vice president and cfo, would leave the company to return to Florida, where his family still resides.

In its most recent second quarter ended Aug. 4, Sears posted a 40 percent year-over-year drop in earnings due to lower operating results in the retailer's Sears Domestic and Kmart units. Sears last month posted net income of $176 million, or $1.17 a diluted share, down 40.1 percent from $294 million, or $1.88 a diluted share, in the year-earlier period. The 2006 second-quarter earnings results included a 14 cent-a-share gain related to antitrust litigation. Sears posted second-quarter revenue of $12.24 billion, down 4.7 percent from $12.79 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts expected the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company to post earnings of $1.13 a share on revenue of $12.32 billion.

The results came on the heels of the company's announcement that it had reduced its second-quarter guidance range for the period on economic pressures — adding volatility to the nervous retail sector and pushing stocks lower.

Bear Stearns analyst Christine Augustine, who rates Sears shares at "market weight," wrote in a research note last month that Sears continues to have one of the highest free cash flow yields in the broadlines sector at 8 percent of sales compared with its peer average of 4 percent.

At the close of the market Monday, shares of Sears closed down 2.3 percent to $130.64. The stock's 52-week low is $127.90 and the high is $195.18.

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