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Sears Updates Q2 Performance

Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) is having some success getting its financial house in order, but sales are declining at a ferocious rate. In an update published Monday morning, the company reported same-store sales down 10.6% compared with the second quarter of last year. Excluding consumer electronics, sales were down 9.1%.

On the financial front, Sears has amended and extended its $3.275 billion domestic credit facility, and it now has about $2 billion maturing in 2020 and the remainder in place until April 2016. At the end of the second quarter, Sears expects to have $1.2 billion available in its credit facility and $1.8 billion in cash, compared with $200 million in its credit facility and $600 million in cash at the same time last year.

The cash improvement is the result of the formation of Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE: SRG), from which the company realized $3 billion in proceeds from REIT-related transactions. As a result, Sears expects to post a gain of approximately $1.4 billion, of which the company will report approximately $510 in the second quarter and the balance of approximately $900 million will be deferred and recognized over the term of the leases, and a tax benefit of approximately $240 million. Here are the company’s expectations:

We expect our reported net income attributable to Holdings’ shareholders for the quarter ending August 1, 2015 will range between approximately $155 million and $205 million, or between $1.46 and $1.92 income per diluted share, including the aforementioned gain and tax benefit, but excluding any final accounting adjustments for the quarter.

Consensus estimates call for a per-share loss of $2.65 on sales of $5.91 billion, but that consensus is based on a single analyst’s view. In the second quarter of last, year Sears posted a loss of $2.82 per share on sales of $8.01 billion.

The company also has initiated a tender offer for $1 billion in outstanding 6.625% senior secured notes.

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By Paul Ausick