Sears narrows Q4 loss
Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holding Corp. said its net loss for the quarter ended on Feb. 2 narrowed to $489 million from $2.4 billion a year earlier. Total costs dropped 2.2% to $12.88 billion in the fourth quarter.
Revenue declined 1.8% to $12.26 billion, but beat analysts’ average estimate of $11.77 billion.
Sears results came weeks after the company’s chairman and largest shareholder, Edward Lampert, took the reins as CEO in the wake of the departure of Louis D’Ambrosio, who resigned for a family-related health problem.
Sears domestic’s comparable-store sales improved 0.8% in the fourth quarter and declined 1.4% for the year. Kmart’s same-store store sales declined 3.7% in the fourth quarter and for the year. Sears Canada’s comparable store sales declined 3.8% in the fourth quarter and 5.6% for the year.
The company’s online business grew over 25% in fourth quarter 2012 and 17% for the full year.
"Sears Holdings made progress in 2012 improving the profitability of our business, but we know there’s more work to be done in 2013," said Lampert. "Our focus continues to be on our core customers, our members, and finding ways to provide them value and convenience through Integrated Retail and our Shop Your Way Membership platform. We have invested significantly in our online ecommerce platforms, our membership rewards program and the technology needed to support these initiatives."
In a letter to shareholders, employees and customers, Lampert emphasized improvements the chain has made, including improved clothing sales and its growing loyalty program.
“We demonstrated that the operating performance of the company, while significantly below what it should be, was not on a continued downward trajectory,” Lampert wrote.
Chico’s Q4 up 26%; to open Boston Proper stores
Fort Meyers, Fla. — Chico’s FAS’ fiscal fourth quarter net income rose 26%, helped by new store openings and the same of more items at full price. The quarter also had an extra week of sales.
Chico’s earned $31.5 million for the 14 weeks ended Feb. 2, compared with $25.1 million in the 13-week period a year earlier.
Revenue rose 15% to $651.9 million, from $569.2 million. Wall Street analysts had expected higher revenue of $666.1 million.
Same-store sales rose 3.7%.
For all of 2012, net income increased 28% to $180.2 million. Revenue rose 17% to $2.58 billion.
The company said its long-term goals are to increase revenue by a low double-digit percentage and boost earnings per share by a mid-teen percentage. It announced today several strategic investments in 2013 to fuel future growth, including omni-channel capabilities, expansion into Canada, and opening its first Boston Proper stores.
Limited Brands Q4 income up 14%; outlook weak
Columbus, Ohio — Limited Brands Inc. said that its fourth quarter net income in the 14-week period through Feb. 2, 2013, rose a better-than expected 14% to $411.4 million. That compares to a 13-week period that ended on Jan. 28, 2012, in which net income came to $359.4 million. The chain also forecast profit for the current quarter and fiscal year below analysts’ expectations.
Revenue rose 10% in the quarter to $3.86 billion from $3.52 billion. When compared to a similar 14-week period a year ago, revenue grew 5%. Analysts were looking for revenue of $3.85 billion.
For the first quarter, Limited Brands said it expects earnings of 40 cents to 45 cents per share, below the 51 cents expected by analysts. It also said it expects full-year earnings of $2.92 to $3.12 per share, also below the $3.25 that analysts were forecasting.
The company reported a comparable stores sales increase of 6% for the 53-week year ended Feb. 2, 2013, compared to the 53 weeks ended Feb. 4, 2012. Net sales were $10.459 billion for the 53-week year ended Feb. 2, 2013, compared to $10.364 billion for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 28, 2012.