BUZZ-Sears Holdings Corp: JP Morgan to terminate Canada card agreement

Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:04am EST
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** Retailer's shares down 1 pct at $36.88 premarket

** In a setback for Sears Canada, JPMorgan Chase says agreement on Sears Card and Sears MasterCard credit cards in Canada will terminate on expiration date of Nov. 15, 2015

** Sears Canada and JPMorgan say they plan to explore a sale of the credit card portfolio

** Fees from JP Morgan agreement added more than C$60 mln in annual EBIT to Sears Canada in the earlier years of the 10-year contract, Desjardins Capital Markets analyst Keith Howlett says

"... The relative importance of the profit contribution of credit has increased, given Sears Canada is currently losing money on sales of merchandise," Howlett says

** Sears in October said it will cut its stake in Sears Canada to 12 pct from 51 pct through a rights offering