Sears Holdings offers peek at Q1 earnings

Company provides update on Sears Hometown, Outlet Stores separation

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Sears Holdings, the parent company of Kmart, expects to make a profit of between $155 million and $195 million in first quarter 2012, compared with a $165 million loss in first quarter 2011, the company said Tuesday.

In a statement released in advance of its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday, Sears Holdings said the profit includes $235 million from the sales of stores in the United States and Canada, which generated $440 million of cash proceeds.

For the quarter, which ended on Saturday, Kmart saw a 1.6% decrease in comps, while Sears saw a 1% decrease, resulting in a 1.3% decrease for the company overall. Still, the company said it had double-digit increases in apparel and footwear categories, offset by declines in appliance and consumer electronics sales. Kmart's decrease also was the result of consumer electronics sales declines, while apparel and footwear saw increases.

On Monday, the company also provided an update on its plan to separate its Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores businesses from Sears Holdings. The company expected the separation to allow it to focus on its core business and raise between $400 million and $500 million, which it will use for other purposes.

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