The Other Sears

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It certainly had not been a good time to be a shareholder of any companies with "Sears" as part of their name. Sears Holdings ( SHLD), which now trades at the same level it did 10 years ago, has been a disaster. While it was perceived by many that the retailer's best days were behind it several years ago, there was renewed interest due to the leadership of well-regarded Chairman Eddie Lampert, and the value within the company's vast real estate holdings.

I was there for the presentations, along with hundreds of other value investors, as the case was made for both Lampert and the incredible value locked within the real estate. I am usually a sucker for companies that own real estate, but in this case, it just did not make a great deal of sense to me. After all, Sears was still primarily a retailer, and an old one at that. I could not shake the vision of the mall-based Sears stores of my youth, and how I barely ever stepped foot in them or the company's other disaster, Kmart, any longer.

In 2010, this was a $120 stock, with much higher prospects, according to some well-known value investing veterans. But with revenue continuing to fall, having not had a profitable year since 2011, and having been unable to unlock the "value" in the real estate, shares are now in the $38 range. The holiday retail season was horrible, with comps down 7.4%, and the last two months have been particularly disastrous for the stock, which is down 42% during that period.

SHLD Chart
SHLD data by YCharts

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