Appliance retailer Sears, Roebuck and Co. reported net income of U.S. $378 million, or $1.76 per share, for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1, 2005, compared with net income of $2.7 billion, or $10.84 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2003.
"Fourth quarter earnings and revenues met our expectations, with control of costs and expenses offsetting margin pressure," said Chairman and CEO Alan J. Lacy. "The year was marked by further restructuring and repositioning of our core retail business, which slowed short-term results, but positions us well for the future."
The U.S. segment reported operating income of $471 million for the fourth quarter of 2004, compared with operating income of $49 million in the fourth quarter of 2003, with the prior year period benefiting from an additional week in the fiscal quarter.
Merchandise sales and services revenues for the 2004 fourth quarter were $9.6 billion, compared with $10.2 billion in the prior year period. In the home group, sales of home appliances, particularly in cooking and laundry, were strong, with digital cameras and entertainment software also performing well in the quarter. Overall, domestic comparable store sales decreased 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004.
Sears Canada reported revenues for the fourth quarter increased 4.0 percent to $1.6 billion. Sales declines across most major merchandise categories were offset by favorable foreign currency exchange rates. Overall Sears Canada comparable store sales decreased 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004.
The company also reported full-year 2004 net income before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle of $350 million, or $1.61 per share, compared with net income of $3.4 billion, or $11.86 per share, for 2003.
The company's 2004 full-year results include costs associated with the pending merger with Kmart Holding Corporation. The company's 2003 full-year results also included significant items, including the gain on the sale of NTB.
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