By  on February 23, 2012

Sears Holdings Corp. on Thursday posted a staggering fourth-quarter loss of $2.4 billion — and chairman Edward S. Lampert made a $629.7 million profit in one day as the retailer’s shares soared.

Even as Sears struggled under the huge quarterly loss — and a sea of red ink in 2011 that totaled $3.14 billion, further stirring speculation as to whether it can survive — the retailer’s shares shot up 18.7 percent to close at $61.80 in over-the-counter trading. Investors focused on Sears’ turnaround plans, which include a spin-off of the Sears Hometown and Outlet businesses to raise between $400 million and $500 million, as well as the sale of 11 store sites to General Growth Properties for $270 million.

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