202.5

Sears sales decline improved in latest quarter; shares soar

In this Saturday, July 21, 2018, photo the outdoor sign stands in the parking lot of a Sears department store in Saint Paul, Minn. Sears Holdings Corp. reports earns Thursday, Sept. 13. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

NEW YORK (AP) — Sears Holdings Corp., the struggling department store operator, said it key sales figure improved and its stock soared in after-hours trading Thursday.

The company, which owns both Sears and Kmart, said sales fell 3.9 percent at established stores in its second quarter. That’s an improvement from the same period a year ago, when it fell 11.5 percent.

Sears has been closing stores, cutting costings and selling brands as it burns through money and sees more customers abandon its often-neglected locations. It said Thursday that it is still evaluating offers to buy its Kenmore appliance brand. Last year, it sold its famous Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Its losses and revenue, however, did not improve.

Net losses in the quarter swelled to $508 million, or $4.68 per share, compared with a loss of $250 million, or $2.33, in the same quarter a year ago. Losses, adjusted for asset impairment costs, came to $4.12 per share.

Revenue shrank 26 percent to $3.18 billion.

Shares of Sears Holdings, which were down 84 percent in the last year, rose 28 percent to $1.55 in after-hours trading Thursday. The company is based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

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Parts of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on SHLD at https://www.zacks.com/ap/SHLD

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