Investors weren’t happy with Sears Holdings Corp.’s update of second-quarter earnings.
Sears’s update included an expected second-quarter profit, but from an operational point of view, comps are still declining at stores open for at least one year. Investors reacted Monday by sending shares of Sears down 10 percent to $19.39.
The company said it expects to “experience” a fourth consecutive quarter of improved adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
For Sears, that means an adjusted loss of between $189 million and $249 million, excluding the $26 million in rent expense resulting from the recent real estate transactions. The estimated loss is better than the net loss of $298 million that the company posted a year ago.
The financial engineering from the disposal of assets to the real estate investment trust Seritage Growth Properties and the joint ventures may have created a second-quarter gain, as well as realizing a tax benefit, but the problem regarding sales at the stores has continued.
Sears said comparable-store sales so far for the quarter up until July 25 were in negative territory, with total comps down 10.6 percent. By nameplate, comps were down 6.9 percent at Kmart and down 13.9 percent at Sears domestic stores. The company said comps were better if one were to exclude the impact of the consumer electronics business, which the retailer is in the midst of overhauling. So while comps were slightly better, it wasn’t better by much and remained in negative territory. Total comps, excluding electronics, were down 9.1 percent, with declines of 5.4 percent at Kmart and 12.5 percent at Sears domestic stores.
In general, the gains from the various real estate transactions are expected to be $1.4 billion, of which $510 million will be reported in the second quarter. The balance of the $900 million will be deferred and recognized over the term of the leases. The tax benefit is about $240 million.
For the quarter ended Aug. 1, Sears said it expects to report net income of between $155 million to $205 million, or $1.46 to $1.92 a diluted share. Sears will report earnings on Aug. 20.
The company also said it has amended and extended its $3.28 billion domestic credit facility. It expects total cash and revolver availability of $3 billion, comprising $1.8 billion in cash plus availability under its credit facility.
Sears has also commenced a tender offer to purchase for cash up to $1 billion principal amount of its outstanding 6-5/8 percent senior secured notes due 2018. The offer is scheduled to expire at 11:59 p.m., EST time, on Aug. 28.