And the numbers are worth a million. The struggling retailer provided an update on its quarter-to-date performance which sent shares spiraling in extended trading. Same-store sales as of Jan. 6 were down 7.4% compared to the same period a year earlier, a dismal result for the critically-important holiday shopping season. Sears Domestic same-store sales dropped 9.2% while Kmart experienced a 5.7% fall.
By way of comparison, in the third quarter ended October 2013, comparable store sales fell 3.1%, which included a 2.1% drop at Kmart and a 4% decrease at Sears Domestic.
With shoppers snubbing the store, Sears downgraded its fourth-quarter net loss guidance for the period ending Feb. 1 to between $2.01 and $2.98 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a far less severe loss of 20 cents a share.Sears is due to release fully reported fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb. 27. After diving 3.2% over Thursday's session, the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based business slumped a further 13.8% to $42.57. TheStreet Ratings team rates Sears a Sell with a ratings score of D. The team has this to say about it recommendation: "This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: SHLD Ratings Report