Can Sears’s New CEO Save the Company?
Sears Holding Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD) was off about 5 percent following the release of its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results. While results came in ahead of most expectations, the company boosted its profit by aggressively cutting costs. Ostensibly a good strategy, it failed to convince investors that the company could turn around and increase its top line.
Here’s a quick breakdown of its annual performance:
|4Q 2011||4Q 2012||FY 2011||FY 2012|
|Revenue ($) in millions||12,484||12,260||41,567||39,854|
|Diluted EPS ($)||(22.63)||(4.61)||(29.40)||(8.78)|
In a publicly-published letter, chairman-turned-CEO Edward Lampert pointed out that the entire retail industry — not just Sears — is undergoing a substantial evolution. He noted that the executive- and president-level turnover rate at top retailers such as Safeway (NYSE:SWY), Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS), and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) has increased over the past few years. This is a sign that “that the talent needed to transform companies in the retail industry today and the persistence required to see transformations through are not easy to come by.”