Sears Q2 net loss narrows
Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings reported a second-quarter net loss of $132 million, compared with a loss of $146 million in the year-ago period.
Revenues totaled $9.5 billion for the quarter ended July 28, down 6% from $10.1 million in the second quarter of 2011. The company cited lower domestic comparable-store sales for the quarter and the effect of having fewer Kmart and Sears Full-line stores in operation. Sears Canada’s comparable-store sales also decreased and included a decline of $55 million due to changes in foreign currency exchange rates.
"We continue to make progress against the priorities we outlined in our fourth quarter earnings release and call. In particular, we have improved our profit position, as we reduced expenses and expanded margin rate through more effective promotional design,” said Lou D’Ambrosio, Sears Holdings’ CEO and president. “We have also successfully lowered inventory, reduced debt from year end, and enhanced our liquidity. In addition, the Sears Hometown transaction remains on track to close in the third quarter."
Domestic-comparable store sales declined 3.7%, comprised of declines of 2.9% at Sears Domestic and 4.7% at Kmart. The largest impact was in consumer electronics. Lawn and garden also declined due to drought conditions.
Earlier this week, Sears also announced that it would be spinning off its Hometown and Outlet stores, along with some hardware stores, into a separate, publicly traded company.
For the first 26 weeks, Sears reported net income of $57 million, compared with a loss of $316 million in the prior-year period. Revenues for this period totaled $18.7 million, down 5% from $19.7 million in 2011.
Black & Decker unveils motion-activated screwdriver
Black & Decker has introduced the GYRO 4V MAX Lithium-ion Rechargeable Screwdriver (BDCS40G), a motion-activated screwdriver that controls variable speed and direction. The variable speed feature and direction change that occurs with a twist of the wrist provide improved control.
With the screwdriver’s gyroscopic technology, users only need to rotate their wrist one-quarter turn to the right for forward or left for reverse.
"We’re taking a technology people are familiar with using in motion-sensing video games, smart phones, and even toy helicopters and using it in a new and innovative way to create a unique power tool," said Matt Nestorick, product manager for consumer power tools at Black & Decker. "The new GYRO screwdriver harnesses the latest technologies to provide consumers with a unique DIY experience."
With lithium ion battery technology, the screwdriver holds a charge up to 18 months.
The 4V MAX Lithium Rechargeable Screwdriver joins Black & Decker’s lineup of Lithium products, including the existing range of drill/drivers and Black & Decker’s extensive Lithium outdoor lineup featuring a string trimmer/edger, hedge trimmer, sweeper, cultivator, pole pruning saw, pole hedge trimmer, chain saw and powered lopper.
The 4V MAX GYRO will be available October 2012 for $39.97 at Lowes, Walmart, Amazon and Blackanddecker.com.
July housing starts drop 1.1%
Housing starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000 in July, down 1.1% from the revised June estimate of 754,000, according to the Residential Construction report from the Commerce Department. This is 21.5% above the July 2011 rate of 614,000.
Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 502,000, which is 6.5% below the revised June figure of 537,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 229,000.
Housing completions in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 668,000; this is 7.1% above the revised June estimate of 624,000 and is 5.4% above the July 2011 rate of 634,000.
Single-family housing completions in July were at a rate of 448,000, which is 5.9% below the revised June rate of 476,000. The July rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 209,000.