Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Happy over Sears

February 26, 2009

searsCheck out Sears results

Sears Holdings beat Wall Street expectations when it reported earnings this morning, helped by cost cuts, and the market sang its praises by sending shares up 8 percent. The streamlining isn’t over either, as the company controlled by Eddie Lampert announced plans to shutter another 24 stores.

We’re wondering about the exuberance of the market’s response, since the results still show marked same-store sales declines for the company’s Kmart and Sears, Roebuck stores and questions remain about whether the company can pull off a real turnaround in the future.

But maybe we should ask the short sellers. As of mid-February, 14.8 million shares of Sears Holdings –about 12 percent of its shares outstanding –were held short. That’s down about 18 percent in the past month, suggesting a decrease in bearish sentiment toward the stock.
Also in the basket:

Limited Brands profit falls, sees first-quarter loss

Finlay to exit department stores, cut jobs

Safeway price cut efforts hurt profits


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