Sears Profit Rises 20%, Helped by Gain On Legal Settlement

Retailer Sears Holdings said its first-quarter earnings grew 20%, helped by one-time gains and improved performance at Canadian and U.S. stores.

For the quarter ending May 5, the Hoffman Estates, Ill., retailer said net income rose to $216 million, or $1.40 a share, from $180 million, or $1.14 cents a share, a year earlier.


Excluding one-time items, which included gains on a legal settlement and a cutback in retirement benefits, the company earned $1.10 a share compared with $1.11 a share during the first-quarter in 2006.

Revenue fell to $11.7 billion from $12 billion a year earlier.

On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial estimated earnings of $1.22 a share on revenue of $11.6 billion. Analyst estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Earlier in the month, Sears , which operates Sears and Kmart stores, said it would earn between $1.30 and $1.53 a share and net income of between $200 million and $235 million.

Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, fell 3.9%. Sears domestic same-store sales fell 3.4%, while Kmart's same-store sales fell 4.4%.

Sears said same-store sales were hurt by poor weather, rising energy costs, and a slower housing market.