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Minus charge, Sears Holdings beats the Street

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Nicked by a $90 million one-time, non-cash accounting charge, Sears Holdings Corp. — the newly combined Kmart and Sears — recorded a small $9 million loss.

But pull the non-cash accounting charge out of the equation, and the retailer actually beat the Street, besting analysts' expectations, with a profit of $81 million, or 65 cents a share, exceeding a consensus forecast of a 63 cent per-share profit.

Releasing financial results for the first time as a newly combined company, Sears Holdings reported sales of $7.6 billion during the opening quarter. Same-store sales at Kmart declined 3.7 percent, while total sales were off 2.3 percent, the retailer said, blaming lower transaction volumes and the impact of poor weather on sales of seasonal items.

Merchandise sales and services at Sears U.S. edged up 0.5 percent. The retailer said, "The slight increase was due to strong home services sales, partially offset by a 3.1 percent decrease in domestic comparable-store sales."

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