Sears (SHLD) Swings to GAAP Profit in Q1; to Divest Substantial Interest in Canadian Unit

May 17, 2012 9:00 AM EDT
Sears Holdings (Nasdaq SHLD) shares are popping Thursday morning following first-quarter results and news of a divestiture in one of its key interests.

Revenue for the beleagured retail chain fell 2.8 percent in the quarter to $9.27 billion, besting views calling for revs of $9.15 billion.

Sears swung from a loss of $170 million in last year's first quarter to a profit of $189 million, or $1.78 per share, in the most recent outing. Adjusting for one-time items, Sears reported a loss of 31 cents per share, much narrower than a loss of 67 cents per share expected by the consensus. Adjusted EBITDA moved from $58 million to $197 million, or from 0.6 percent to 2.1 percent of total revs.

Operating margin improved 100 basis points to 27.7.

Domestic comps dipped 1 percent, with Kmart comps off 1.6 percent and Sears Canada comps falling 6.3 percent.

Speaking of Sears Canada, a separate release said Sears was planning a partial spin-off if its interest in the unit. According to the release, Sears' 95 percent interest with be whittled down to 51 percent, meaning it will still retain a majority holding. According to the release, Sears Canada will still be Toronto Stock Exchange-listed.

Sears did not offer guidance.

Shares are up about 8 percent in early trading.

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