Retailer Sears said it would likely earn between US$350 million and $470 million, or $2.59 to $3.48 per share for the quarter ending Feb. 2. For the fiscal year, the company forecast a profit of $744 million to $864 million, or $5.13 per share to $5.96 per share.
The company blamed growing competition, a slowdown in the housing market, and consumers' credit fears for slumping sales figures that were expected to drag down profit by nearly 50% from the same period last year.
Domestic same-store sales fell 3.5% during the nine-week holiday season in November and December because of poor performance in Kmart's seasonal categories and Sears' apparel and tools. The decline was partially offset by higher sales of home electronics.
The company said Sears domestic same-store sales slipped 2.8% for the nine-week period that ended Jan. 5, while Kmart same-store sales dropped 4.2%.