I’ve been allowed my rampant speculation before on Sear’s (SHLD), but nothing I’ve seen since March has changed my mind on this retailing icon; Sears is going to be a real estate play before too long.
Investor and hedge manager Eddie Lampert, who bought Sears in 2005 and became CEO this year, has overseen losses exceeding $4 billion over the past two years while dumping assets, including Sears Hometown (SHOS), and closing down smaller stores and paring back its Canadian operations.
How’s it working out? Well, not so well, really.
Over the last five fiscal years Sears has seen revenues drop 15%, and it hasn’t had a cashflow-positive year since 2011. Its most recent results for the second quarter ended Aug. 3 suggests the pattern continues; revenues fell over 6% compared to last year’s comparable period, while its loss widened to $194 million from $132 million.
At one point I thought CEO Eddie Lampert had a plan, but I’m giving up on the notion of where this is all going. But whatever it is, it can’t go on too much longer. Sears as a retailer is slowly sinking.