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Sears Loss Widens as Sales Decline

HOFFMAN ESTATES, ILL. - Sears Holdings' net loss during the third quarter swung to $498 million, or $4.70 per share, from $410 million, or $3.85 per share in the year-ago quarter as sales fell 5.8% to $8.86 billion.
     As has been the case recently, company executives emphasized the value of SH's asset portfolio, but sounding a new note, seemed to indicate a desire to improve the performance of the core business.
     In a conference call with analysts last month, ceo Louis D'Ambrosio ticked off the asset assortment: "some of the best brands in retail, over 200 million square feet of real estate, more than $5 billion of inventory already paid for, and the largest Home Services business, to name a few. We're here to translate those assets into value."
     However, he added: "Our preference, our focus is to accomplish this operationally."
     He went on to say the company would optimize assets in other way - presumably by selling - if it was necessary to create long term value for shareholders.
     Sears U.S. comps declined 1.6% in the third quarter, Kmart's comparable-store sales declined 4.8%, and Sears Canada's comparable- store sales declined 5.7%;

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