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Q3FY15 net loss drops marginally at Sears Holdings
Dec '14
For the third fiscal quarter ending November 1, 2014, retailer, Sears Holding Corp reported a marginal drop in net loss vis-a-vis the quarter ended November 2, 2013.

Net loss at Sears totalled $548 million or $5.15 loss per diluted share for the third quarter of 2014, compared to $534 million or $5.03 loss per diluted share for the prior year third quarter.

However, online and multi-channel sales grew approximately 9 per cent over the comparable period of 2013, as Sears continues to transform into an integrated retail platform.

Revenues decreased approximately $1.1 billion to $7.2 billion for the quarter ended November 1, 2014, as against $8.3 billion for the quarter ended November 2, 2013.

Sears said, the majority of the decline related to $384 million from separation of the Lands' End business, $340 million in less revenue from fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores and $326 million associated with Sears Canada.

In the reporting quarter, gross profit decreased $330 million to $1.6 billion, while Kmart's gross margin rate rose 50 basis points primarily driven by an increase in the apparel category.

But, Sears domestic's gross margin rate slipped 190 basis points for the quarter with decreases experienced in a majority of categories, most notably consumer electronics, home appliances, tools and home.

Selling and administrative expenses fell $251 million in the third quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter of previous fiscal year, again due to a decrease in advertising expenses.

Interest and investment income in the third quarter of 2014 included a gain of $70 million related to the de-consolidation of Sears Canada.

The retailer reported an operating loss of $490 million for the third quarter of 2014 compared to $497 million for the prior year period.

The effective tax rate for the third quarter of 2014 was 33.9 per cent, primarily due to a non-cash valuation allowance established on Sears Canada's deferred income taxes prior to de-consolidation.

Sears had cash balances of $326 million at November 1, 2014 compared with $384 million at November 2, 2013 and $577 million at February 1, 2014.

Short-term borrowings totalled $2.1 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2014 as against $1.8 billion at the end of the third quarter of 2013.

As of December 3, 2014, the amount available to borrow under its credit facility was approximately $1.5 billion.

Total long-term debt was $2.8 billion at November 1, 2014 down from $2.9 billion at both November 2, 2013 and February 1, 2014.

Merchandise inventories as on November 1, 2014 were $6.5 billion, as compared to $8.0 billion as on November 2, 2013.

Excluding inventory from the Lands' End business of approximately $464 million, domestic inventory fell approximately $1.1 billion driven by both improved productivity and store closures. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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