Sears Has One Foot In The Grave After 20 Straight Quarterly Losses
After suffering its 20th consecutive quarterly decline, it’s clear Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) is a zombie retailer that is dead but just doesn’t know it yet. Because it does still have a relatively valuable real estate portfolio, it may be able to continue shambling along for some time, but it’s clear to everyone except CEO Eddie Lampert that there is no hope that it will come back to life.
Sears’ third-quarter earnings report was about as bad as you’d expect it to be. Revenue fell 12.5% to $5 billion as fewer Sears and Kmart stores are in operation, coupled with yet another quarter of falling same-store sales, widened losses to $748 million from $454 million last year. Although Lampert has tried to transform the retailer into a smaller, leaner, more digitally savvy business, it comes too late, and he probably brought too little dry powder to the battle to make a successful change.
Bankruptcy could be on the cards for Sears, both ratings agencies Fitch Ratings and Moody’s have said they foresee Sears going out of business. AndJanuary is one of the most popular months for declaring bankruptcy, as companies are often flush with cash from the holiday season. However,with valuable assets such as Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard still in its portfolio, and a bevy of real estate it can still sell off, it’s likely Sears will continue to exist for a while among the walking dead.
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