FINANCE

Report: Sears to Reorganize Into Units

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill. Sears Holdings Corp. plans to reorganize into several companies in another bid to help the ailing retailer, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The decision follows Sears’ disclosure last week that fourth-quarter profit may decline for the third consecutive quarter.

Sears Holdings chairman Edward Lampert sees the move as a way to revitalize the company in the face of tough competition from companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the newspaper said, citing unnamed people familiar with the situation.

Spokeswoman Kimberly Freely issued a short statement Saturday confirming Sears Holdings is “introducing an organizational structure that provides operating businesses with greater control, authority and autonomy.” She declined to comment further.

Sears spokesman Chris Brathwaite told Bloomberg News via e-m-mail Saturday that each of Sears’ business units will have a designated leader and a group of executive advisors to oversee performance, according to USA Today.

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Kroger approves $1 billion buyback plan

BY CSA STAFF

CINCINNATI Kroger announced today that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of $1 billion of Kroger common stock.

According to Kroger, the repurchase authorization replaces the $1 billion stock buyback announced in June 2007. The timing of the repurchases will vary according to market conditions, the company reported.

Kroger said it plans to use free cash flow to repurchase shares and pay dividends. Since January 2000, Kroger has returned $4.8 billion in stock repurchases and $290 million in dividends to shareholders.

“The new share repurchase authorization reflects our confidence in the company’s Customer 1st strategic plan and our belief that Kroger shares represent an attractive investment opportunity,” said David Dillon, Kroger chairman and ceo.

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Report: Wal-Mart purges magazine rack

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart reportedly has decided to remove more than 1,000 magazines from its stores.

The New York Post reported that the company is thought to generate more than 20% of all retail magazine sales in the United States.

The Post reported that most of the magazines are small, or discontinued titles such as Child, Celebrity Living and FHM. However, some big names, including Better Homes & GardensParenting and Town & Country, will no longer have a place on Wal-Mart shelves.

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