Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company posted a net loss of $3.11 per share and $5.03 billion in revenues. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for a net loss of $4.06 per share on revenue of $4.95 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had a net loss of $2.98 per share and $5.75 billion in revenue.
Comparable sales overall declined by 7.4%, which accounted for $304 million of the revenue decline. At Kmart, comparable store sales decreased 4.4%, and Sears Domestic comparable store sales decreased 10.0% during this time.
During the third quarter, gross margin decreased $300 million compared to the prior year third quarter due to the above noted decline in sales. The decline in margin rate in both segments was primarily driven by performance in the apparel business, as well as an overall increase in markdowns.
On the books, the company’s cash balances totaled $258 million at the end of the quarter, up from $238 million at the end of the previous fiscal year.
Edward S. Lampert, chairman and CEO, commented:
We remain fully committed to restoring profitability to our Company and are taking actions such as reducing unprofitable stores, reducing space in stores we continue to operate (including through the Seritage lease arrangement), reducing investments in underperforming categories and improving gross margin performance and managing expenses relative to sales in key categories. While many observers have acknowledged the significant asset base of our Company, we understand the concerns related to our operating performance and are committed to transforming our Company through our Shop Your Way membership program and our Integrated Retail investments. At the same time, we will continue to explore options to recognize the inherent asset value in a manner that complements our transformation.
Shares of Sears closed Wednesday up nearly 3% at $12.12, with a consensus analyst price target of $9.00 and a 52-week trading range of $10.50 to $22.93. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was down about 1% at $12.00 in early trading indications Thursday.