Sears posts first quarterly profit since 2012 on property sale

A shopper leaves the Sears store in the Loop in Chicago, Illinois.
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Sears reported its first quarterly profit in more than three years thanks to a one-off gain from the sale of stores, but the struggling retailer's sales continued to decline.

The return to profit, as well as the drop in sales, were flagged earlier this month in an earnings preview by the company.

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The company sold 235 stores and its 50 percent interest in joint ventures with three mall operators to real estate investment trust Seritage Growth Properties for $2.7 billion during the quarter.

Sears recognized a $508 million gain on the property deal during the quarter.

That boosted net profit attributable to Sears shareholders to $208 million, or $1.84 per share, in the quarter ended Aug. 1, compared with a loss of $573 million, or $5.39 per share, a year earlier.

Sears said comparable sales at stores open more than a year fell 10.8 percent in the quarter. Total revenue fell 22.5 percent to $6.21 billion.

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