UPDATE 1-Tepid sales, bigger discounts hurt Sears results
Aug 22 (Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp, which operates its eponymous department stores and the Kmart discount chain, reported a much bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday as weak sales and bigger discounts to rewards members squeezed margins.
Shares of Sears Holdings were down 4.6 percent at $41.30 in trading before the market opened.
The net loss widened to $194 million, or $1.83 a share in the second quarter ended Aug. 3, from $132 million, or $1.25 a share, a year earlier.
Excluding gains on the sale of certain assets and other items but including certain expenses, the loss was $1.70 a share, while analysts on average were expecting $1.10, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales fell 6.3 percent to $8.9 billion, falling short of the analysts' average estimate of $9.5 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales at stores open at least a year fell 2.1 percent at Kmart, 0.8 percent at Sears Domestic and 2.5 percent at Sears Canada. Online sales rose 20 percent at the company, which has invested heavily in its e-commerce business.
Demand was weak for everything from grocery to electronic items at Kmart. Sears' namesake department store chain saw weakness in appliances in a quarter when rivals Home Depot Inc and Lowe's Cos Inc had strong sales in that category.