Profits Advance at Sears

The retailer's sales decline but are still better than expected.
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Sears Holdings

(SHLD)

, the third-biggest U.S. department-store owner, said its second-quarter same-store sales and total revenue declined from last year, but by lowering its expenses, the retailer posted a jump in earnings.

The company had a profit of $294 million, or $1.88 a share, on revenue of $12.8 billion for the quarter ended July 29. Last year, Sears earned $161 million and 98 cents a share on sales of $13.2 billion.

For the quarter, domestic comparable-store sales declined 3.8%. Excluding items, Sears would have earned $1.74 a share in the latest quarter, up from $1.14 a year ago.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a profit of $1.67 a share, before items, and revenue of $12.5 billion.

Shares of Sears were gaining $1.25, or 0.8%, to $151.25 in premarket trading Thursday.