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Sears reports wider loss in Q3, misses Street

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holdings Corp. reported Thursday that its loss widened in the third quarter on softness in its Canada division and on weaker consumer electronics sales.

The operator of Sears and Kmart recorded a loss of $421 million in the quarter ended Oct. 29, compared with a loss of $218 million a year earlier.

Revenue slipped 1% to $9.57 billion from $9.68 billion, missing the $9.63 billion expected by Wall Street, and marking the fourth straight quarter of revenue declines.

Same-store sales at Sears stores dipped 0.7% and fell 0.9% at Kmart stores. Sears stores were hurt by fewer sales of appliances and consumer electronics, while Kmart stores were impacted by reduced sales of clothing and home goods.
Same-store sales plummeted 7.8% for Sears Canada.

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Kohl’s recognized for green leadership

BY CSA STAFF

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. — Kohl’s Department Stores announced that the company has been recognized with its third Green Power Partner of the Year Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Energy and the Center for Resource Solutions. With this year’s award, Kohl’s is the first retailer to be named a Green Power Partner of the Year for three consecutive years, the company reported. The award was given last night at the 2011 Green Power Leadership Awards held as part of the annual Renewable Energy Markets Conference in San Francisco, Calif.

“Recognition as Green Power Partner of the Year demonstrates Kohl’s leadership in the use and support of renewable energy as part of our commitment to being an environmentally responsible retailer,” said John Worthington, Kohl’s chief administrative officer. “In 2011, Kohl’s strengthened its commitment to the use and support of green power by increasing our total green power purchase by more than 52 million kilowatt-hours and purchasing enough green power to offset the purchased electricity requirements for each of our 39 new stores that opened in 2011. We were also pleased to add 16 new solar locations this year in addition to our first two wind locations, and we continue to explore additional opportunities to expand our green power and energy efficiency initiatives.”

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Children’s Place raises outlook on strong earnings performance

BY CSA STAFF

SECAUCUS, N.J. — The economy may be keeping some families from purchasing new clothes for their children, but that didn’t stop The Children’s Place from delivering earnings that beat estimates.

The company reported income from continuing operations of $33.7 million, or $1.33 per diluted share, compared with $31.2 million, or $1.14 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2010. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.27 per diluted share.

Sales at The Children’s Place Retail Stores increased 7% to $484.1 million for the third quarter from sales of $453.4 million for the same period last year. The company reported that same-store sales rose 0.9% in the quarter.

Jane Elfers, president and CEO, commented, "The Children’s Place delivered solid financial results for the quarter, including positive comparable-retail sales, accelerated total sales growth, continued gross margin expansion and a strong earnings per share increase. We attribute these results to a combination of our enhanced merchandise offerings, our intense focus on inventory management and the momentum from our other strategic growth initiatives which enabled us to drive sales and expand margin despite significantly higher product costs and a difficult macroeconomic environment."

During the third quarter of 2011, The Children’s Place opened 18 stores and closed two.

Following a solid performance for the third quarter, The Children’s Place has raised its earnings guidance for fiscal 2011. The company said it now projects earnings per diluted share from continuing operations will be in the range of $3.24 to $3.29 for fiscal 2011, compared with its previous guidance of $3.13 to $3.25. In addition, the company has provided initial guidance for earnings per diluted share from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2011 to be in the range of $1.19 to $1.24, assuming flat to slightly positive comparable-retail sales.

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