HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Nov. 30, 2017 — Sears Holdings Corporation (“Holdings,” “we,” “us,” “our,” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: SHLD) today announced financial results for its third quarter ended October 28, 2017. As a supplement to this announcement, a presentation, pre-recorded conference and audio webcast are available at our website http://searsholdings.com/invest.
In summary, we reported a net loss attributable to Holdings' shareholders of $558 million ($5.19 loss per diluted share) for the third quarter of 2017 compared to a net loss of $748 million ($6.99 loss per diluted share) for the third quarter of 2016, an improvement of $190 million. Adjusted EBITDA improved $100 million to $(275) million in the third quarter of 2017, from $(375) million in the prior year third quarter. This marks the second consecutive quarter of at least $100 million improvement in Adjusted EBITDA as the restructuring actions taken in the first three quarters of 2017 have resulted in meaningful year-over-year improvement in the Company's performance.
We generated total revenues of approximately $3.7 billion during the third quarter of 2017, compared with revenues of $5.0 billion in the prior year quarter, with store closures contributing to over half of the decline. Revenues were also negatively impacted by reductions in the number of pharmacies in open Kmart stores, as well as the reduction in consumer electronics assortments in both our Kmart and Sears stores. Total comparable store sales declined 15.3% during the quarter. Kmart comparable store sales decreased 13.0%, while Sears comparable store sales declined 17.0%.
Edward S. Lampert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Holdings, said, “In the third quarter, we continued to narrow our losses and delivered another quarter of Adjusted EBITDA improvement of at least $100 million. With the challenging retail landscape continuing to pressure sales, the improvement in Adjusted EBITDA is reflective of the success of the strategic priorities we outlined earlier this year to streamline our operations, reduce inventory and minimize operating expenses, as well as our commitment to our goal of restoring positive Adjusted EBITDA in 2018. Our Shop Your Way membership program and Integrated Retail Strategy remain a key focus for us in order to meet the needs of our members and provide our members with the best experience possible throughout the holiday shopping season.”
As we look ahead to the fourth quarter and beyond with a focus on continued improved performance, we intend to:
Rob Riecker, Chief Financial Officer of Holdings, said, “The recently announced agreement with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation requires an initial upfront payment to the pension plans which will be secured by 138 properties released to the Company. Once complete, the estimated contributions of $550 million to the pension plans in 2018 and 2019 is eliminated (with the exception of a $20 million payment in July of 2018). Additionally we will be taking action in the near term with respect to certain upcoming debt maturities to provide the Company with further financial flexibility and enhanced liquidity.”
In addition to our net loss attributable to Holdings' shareholders determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”), for purposes of evaluating operating performance, we use Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (“Adjusted EBITDA”) and Adjusted Loss Per Share (“Adjusted EPS”), which are non-GAAP measures. The tables attached to this press release provide a reconciliation of GAAP to as adjusted amounts. We believe that our use of Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EPS provides an appropriate measure for investors to use in assessing our performance across periods, given that these measures provide adjustments for certain significant items which may vary significantly from period to period, thereby improving the comparability of year-to-year results and being more representative of our ongoing performance. Therefore, we have adjusted our results for significant items to make our statements more useful and comparable. However, we do not, and do not recommend that you, solely use Adjusted EBITDA or Adjusted EPS to assess our financial and earnings performance. We also use, and recommend that you use, diluted loss per share in addition to Adjusted EPS in assessing our earnings performance.
As a result of the Seritage and JV transactions, Adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2017 and 2016 included additional rent expense of approximately $40 million and $48 million, respectively. Due to the structure of the leases, we expect that our cash rent obligations to Seritage and the joint venture partners will decline, over time, as space in these stores is recaptured. From the inception of the Seritage transaction to date, we have received recapture notices on 38 properties and also exercised our right to terminate the lease on 56 properties.
Results are unaudited. This press release contains forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to, statements about our strategic restructuring program and anticipated results of strategic initiatives, our transformation through our integrated retail strategy, our plans to redeploy and reconfigure our assets, our plans to market and sell a portion of our existing real estate assets, our liquidity, our ability to exercise financial flexibility as we meet our obligations and pursue possible strategic transactions, and other statements that describe the Company's plans. Whenever used, words such as “will,” “expect,” and other terms of similar meaning are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements, including these, are based on the current beliefs and expectations of our management and are subject to significant risks, assumptions and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company's control, that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Detailed descriptions of other risks relating to Sears Holdings are discussed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While we believe that our forecasts and assumptions are reasonable, we caution that actual results may differ materially. We intend the forward-looking statements to speak only as of the time made and do not undertake to update or revise them as more information becomes available, except as required by law.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) is a leading integrated retailer focused on seamlessly connecting the digital and physical shopping experiences to serve our members – wherever, whenever and however they want to shop. Sears Holdings is home to Shop Your Way®, a social shopping platform offering members rewards for shopping at Sears and Kmart, as well as with other retail partners across categories important to them. The Company operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation, with full-line and specialty retail stores across the United States. For more information, visit www.searsholdings.com.
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