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Sears profit drops 47% in quarter

Earnings Roundup

February 29, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Sears Holdings Corp., the biggest U.S. department store company, said fiscal fourth-quarter profit plunged 47%, and Chairman Edward Lampert vowed to rein in costs and cut inventory.

Net income dropped to $426 million, or $3.17 a share, in the three months that ended Feb. 2, the Hoffman Estates, Ill.- based company said.

A year earlier, profit was $811 million, or $5.27 a share.

Sales in the quarter declined 6.8% to $15.1 billion.

"I'm not sure that there's anybody out there who says, 'Sears or Kmart is my favorite place to shop,' " said David Keuler, a money manager at Mason Street Advisors.

Sears shares fell 20 cents to $101.40. The stock had lost 43% of its value in the 12 months through Wednesday.

In a letter to shareholders, Lampert raised the possibility that Sears would sell some of its brand-name products, which include Craftsman tools and Kenmore appliances, through other retailers.

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