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Retail giant

Sears, Roebuck and Co.

(S) - Get SentinelOne, Inc. Class A Report

reported a 71% increase in net income Wednesday and met Wall Street's upgraded expectations for the first quarter.

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company credited strength in its retail and credit businesses for its first-quarter performance. Sears posted record earnings of $235 million, or 65 cents per share, vs. $146 million, or 38 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

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"Our two primary businesses, retail and credit, contributed very strong growth in operating income while our robust cash flow allowed us to repurchase over 17 million outstanding shares of Sears stock, further enhancing earnings-per-share growth," said Sears Chairman and Chief Executive Arthur Martinez in a statement. "Increased sales volume along with a solid margin rate drove the retail operating improvement, while the credit business continued to improve portfolio quality and reduce operating costs."

Overall, Sears revenue was $8.97 billion for the quarter vs. $8.66 billion a year ago.

Earlier this month, Sears

raised its earnings-per-share guidance for the quarter to between 62 and 67 cents vs. consensus estimates at the time of 46 cents per share.

Sears finished down 3/16, or 0.5%, at 36 3/4.