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积重难返,西尔斯再亏损5.58亿美元

PHil Wahba 2017年12月06日

没有一家零售企业混到了西尔斯控股这般悲惨的田地,销售收入连续24个季度同比下降。

有些时候把预期定得低一些是对的。

上周四西尔斯公司发布了其第三季度财报,财报显示,由于其旗下Sears和Kmart两个品牌卖场的销售额持续下跌,西尔斯的当季亏损达到5.58亿美元。不过这一亏损额还是略低于去年同期,因此它至少说明虽然西尔斯的核心业务依然一蹶不振,但是至少它在削减成本上做得还是卓有成效的。西尔斯的股价虽然回弹了5个百分点,但是比起近52周的最高位还是下跌了70%。

西尔斯控股旗下的Sears和Kmart两个品牌卖场的可比销售额分别下跌了17%和13%,这个成绩还是比较令人惊讶的,毕竟去年西尔斯控股已经将不少业绩疲软的卖场剥离了出去。这个成绩比起科尔百货、塔吉特百货、J.C.Penney、梅西百货等竞争对手可谓凄惨。虽然梅西百货等零售业巨头也都面临着种种挑战,但没有一家主流竞争对手混到了西尔斯控股这般悲惨的田地——它的可比销售额已经连续下降24个季度了。

西尔斯此次发布的财报也无益于解决外界对其长期生存能力的担忧。西尔斯控股在自己的2016年年报中也坦承过这个问题。过去六年,西尔斯的亏损已经超过了100亿美元,给公司的财务造成了极大的负担,公司近年来也不得不忍痛售出了一些最优质的资产。

GlobalData Retail公司的执行董事尼尔·桑德斯本周四在一篇研究文章中指出:“最终,我们仍然认为,西尔斯是一家即将死去的公司。不管你怎么切割它,其业务的经济基本面就是叠加不起来。”他指出,西尔斯在亚马逊上销售其Kenmore家电品牌是明智之举,不过仅靠这些做法还不足以让公司起死回生。

即便情势恶化至此,西尔斯的董事长兼CEO艾迪·兰伯特(他也就是那位主导了2005年西尔斯与Kmart合并的对冲基金经理)依然坚称,公司简化业务、削减库存和降低运营开支的努力是“成功”的。

西尔斯在削减债务上的确取得了一些进步。财报显示,今年三季度,公司通过销售不动产和其他资产拿到了2.7亿美元融资,三季度结束后,西尔斯又拿到了另外1.67亿美元资本。通过这两笔钱,截止到三季度结束时,公司负担的长期债务已经从上季度的24.1亿美元缩减到了20.3亿美元。(财富中文网)

译者:贾政景

Sometimes it pays to set expectations low.

Sears Holdings (SHLD, -3.56%) on Thursday reported a loss of $558 million for its third fiscal quarter, felled by the continuing collapse in sales at its established Sears and Kmart stores. But because it was a smaller loss than a year earlier, showing the shrinking retailer is at least cutting costs efficiently as its core business dwindles, shares went up 5% though they remain down 70% from their 52-week highs.

Comparable sales fell 17% at Sears and 13% at Kmart, a striking result given that they exclude the dozens of weak stores the company has culled in the last year. The results are catastrophic compared to those of rivals like Kohl’s (KSS, +0.52%), Target (TGT, -2.89%), J.C. Penney (JCP, -6.21%), and Macy’s (M, -0.75%), each facing challenges but none in nearly as poor condition as the once iconic Sears. It was the 24th quarter of comparable sales declines in a row for the company.

And the results did nothing to ease concerns about Sears’ longer term viability, something the company acknowledged earlier this year in its 2016 annual report. The company has lost more than $10 billion in the last six years, putting enormous stress on its finances and leading it to sell some of its best assets in recent years.

“Ultimately, we still believe that Sears is a dying business. Whichever way you cut them, the fundamental economics of the business do not add up,” Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData Retail, wrote in a research note on Thursday. He praised moves like Sears selling its Kenmore appliances on Amazon.com (AMZN, +1.18%), but said such efforts were insufficient to move the needle.

That didn’t stop Chairman and Chief Executive Eddie Lampert, the hedge fund manager who engineered the merger of Sears and Kmart in 2005, from claiming to see “success” in the company’s efforts to downsize itself by streamlining operations, reducing inventory, and minimizing operating expenses.

Sears did make progress in lowering its debt: it said it had raised more than $270 million from sales of real estate and other assets in the third quarter, as well as an another $167 million after the close of the quarter. It used the proceeds to bring long-term debt and obligations down to $2.03 billion at the end of the quarter from $2.41 billion three months earlier.

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