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Sears Whittles Down Loss

Sears Holding reported a net loss for the third quarter of $127 million, an improvement over a net loss of $146 million last year.

Revenues were driven down by lower comps, currency exchange rates and the closing of 56 Kmart and Sears stores since last year’s third quarter. Total revenues fell 4.7% to $10.2 billion, with consolidated comps down 2.3%.

Same-store sales at Kmart peeped into positive territory, up 0.5%, primarily due to sales of toys and home as well as bringing the footwear business operations in-house.

Sears’ comps in the U.S. fell 4.6%, driven by declines in home appliances, lawn & garden, tools and home electronics.

“We saw some encouraging signs of progress in the third quarter,” said Bruce Johnson, the company’s interim ceo and president.

Those signs included better margins, lower selling and administrative expenses and the “moderated” pace of Sears’ comp sales decline during the quarter.

For the first nine months, net loss widened to $195 million from $137 million in the year-ago period. Sales fell 8.0% to $30.8 million.

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