UPDATE 2-Sears posts loss for 9th straight qtr as sales fall again

Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:40am EDT
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(Adds details; updates shares)

Aug 21 (Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp reported its ninth straight quarterly loss as sales continued to fall and the retailer said it might close more stores than planned this year.

Shares of the company, which owns Sears department stores and the Kmart discount chain, fell as much as 7 percent in opening trading.

Sears, controlled by hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, has been closing stores, cutting inventory and selling property and assets to try to turn its business around after nearly a decade of falling sales.

The company's revenue fell 9.7 percent in the second quarter, reflecting the impact of the separation of its Lands' End clothing business and store closures.

Same-store sales fell 1.7 percent at Kmart stores. Sears had 2,302 stores in the United States as of Aug. 2, of which 1,077 were Kmarts.

Lampert said Sears was making progress in its turnaround efforts. "In the next 6-12 months, we intend to work with our lenders and others to evaluate our capital structure with a goal of achieving more long term flexibility," he said on a recorded call on Thursday.

Sears said it continued to explore with Bank of America Merrill Lynch a sale of its 51 percent stake in Sears Canada or the sale of the entire Canadian company.

Sears Canada, which reported its ninth loss in 14 quarters on Wednesday, had a market value of about $1.5 billion on the day.   Continued...