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Sears Beats Profit Estimates; Sales Fall

Sears reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings but saw its revenue decline.
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reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings but saw revenue decline.

Sears posted net income of $430 million for the quarter, or $3.74 a share, compared with $190 million, or $1.55 a share, a year ago. Adjusted earnings came in at $3.69 a share compared with $2.94 the same time last year.

Sears reported adjusted earnings of $3.19 for the full year, compared with $1.69 a year earlier.

Sears said both the quarter and the year benefited from the impact of assuming the operations of its footwear business from a third party, effective January 2009.

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Sales decreased $33 million to $13.2 billion for the quarter, primarily due to lower comparable-store sales and 62 fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores. Sears said domestic comparable-store sales declined 2.5% and included an increase at Kmart of 1.7%, offset by a decline at Sears Domestic of 6.1%.

Analysts forecast fourth-quarter earnings of $3.54 a share on revenue of $12.9 billion.

As of the end of January, Sears had remaining authorization to repurchase $581 million of common shares under its share repurchaseprogram.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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