FINANCE

Sears Holdings swings to profit in Q1, to spin off minority stake in Sears Canada

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp. reported Thursday that it generated a profit of $189 million for the quarter ended April 28, after losing $170 million in the same period last year. The improvement was due largely to a $233-million gain from selling off some of its stores.

The retailer also announced that it plans to pursue a partial spinoff of its shares in Sears Canada, reducing its holdings in the Canadian company from a current 95% to about 51%. The transaction is expected to be completed this year, the company said, adding that it could further reduce its stake at a later date.

First-quarter revenue for Sears Holdings dipped 3% to $9.27 billion, beating analysts’ expected $9.26 billion. Same-store sales slipped 1.6% at both Sears and Kmart stores in the United States.

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FINANCE

Ross profit rises 21% in Q1, increases long-term store growth outlook

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Pleasanton, Calif. — Ross Stores reported Thursday that net income for the first quarter surged 21% to $208.6 million, from $173 million in the same period last year.

Sales increased 14% to $2.4 billion, and same-store sales rose 9%.

“We believe that favorable weather across many of our markets also contributed to our above-plan performance," said Michael Balmuth, CEO, about the results.

Balmuth also said the retailer has increased its long-terms store potential to 2,500 U.S. locations, comprised of 2,000 Ross Dress for Less stores (up from a prior target of 1,500 stores) and 500 DD’s Discounts stores.

“We have the ability over time to more than double the size of our company domestically," he said.

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FINANCE

Limited Brands Q1 profit slips, still beats Street

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio — Limited Brands Inc. reported Wednesday a first-quarter profit of $124.6 million, compared with $165.2 million in the year-ago period. Results topped Wall Street estimates.

Net sales slipped to $2.15 billion from $2.22 billion, and same-store sales increased 7%.

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