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SEARS EARNINGS UP 15.5 PERCENT

 SEARS EARNINGS UP 15.5 PERCENT
 CHICAGO, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S)


today reported second-quarter consolidated net income of $345.8 million, 15.5 percent above the $299.4 million reported in the same period last year. Consolidated net income for the first half rose 24.4 percent to $667.6 million, compared with $536.6 million reported last year.
 Earnings per common share were 90 cents for the second quarter of 1992, compared with 87 cents per common share in 1991. For the first half, earnings per common share were $1.79, compared with $1.56 last year. Both periods this year reflect the dilutive effect of a mandatorily exchangeable preferred stock offering in February 1992. Average common shares outstanding in the second quarter totaled 376.1 million, compared with 343.8 million a year ago.
 Sears Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward A. Brennan said operating income for the second quarter rose 5.8 percent to $383.2 million from $362.1 million in 1991. Operating income in the first half rose 21.5 percent to $576.2 million from $474.1 million.
 Consolidated revenues for the second quarter rose 1.3 percent to $14.27 billion from $14.09 billion in the same period last year. Revenues for the first half rose 3.0 percent to $27.78 billion from $26.97 billion.
 Sears Merchandise Group income for the second quarter was $78.5 million, compared with $156.9 million for the same period last year. Revenues declined 1.1 percent to $7.57 billion from $7.65 billion a year ago.
 Brennan said the slower pace of the economic recovery and continued intense retail competition resulted in lower gross margins. Other factors affecting second-quarter performance included planned revenue decreases in Sears Catalog, lower revenues and increased advertising expenses in automotive, a $20.2-million pre-tax expense associated with the closing of catalog pick-up desks in the retail stores, and costs related to the internal launch of the retail group's ''pure selling environment'' initiative.
 Merchandise Group income for the first half declined to $95.0 million from the $142.8 million reported a year earlier. Included in first-half income was a $38.5-million after-tax restructuring charge which was more than offset by a $54.5-million gain from the sale of a minority interest in Sears Mexico. First-half revenues of $14.42 billion were 1.0 percent above last year's $14.28 billion.
 Allstate Insurance Group's second-quarter income was $235.3 million, 68.3 percent above the $139.8 million reported last year. Property- liability income increased $103.0 million and was partially offset by a $7.5 million decrease in income from life operations. Revenues grew 4.4 percent to $5.02 billion from $4.81 billion last year.
 For the six months, Allstate's income rose 40.5 percent to $496.4 million, compared with $353.4 million in 1991, reflecting a $173.4 million increase in property-liability and a $30.4 million decrease in life operations. Property-liability results increased in both periods due to improvements in underwriting performance, investment income and capital gains, despite a significant increase in catastrophic losses over last year. Income from life operations decreased, as gains on investment sales were more than offset by losses in the commercial mortgage portfolio. Allstate's revenues increased 4.5 percent to $10.02 billion from $9.59 billion in 1991.
 The Dean Witter Financial Services Group reported income rose 8.1 percent in the second quarter to $97.9 million, compared with $90.6 million in 1991. Securities income rose to $48.7 million from $42.4 million in 1991. Credit services contributed income of $49.2 million, up from the $48.2 million reported in 1991. Group revenues were up 4.9 percent to $1.28 billion from $1.22 billion last year.
 For the first half, the Dean Witter Group reported income of $241.4 million, 43.1 percent above the $168.7 million in 1991. Income from the securities business was $105.3 million, a 38.6 percent increase over the $76.0 million reported last year. Credit services income was $136.1 million, up from the $92.7 million reported last year. Included in credit services was a $32.1-million gain from the sale of a minority interest in SPS Transaction Services, Inc. Group revenues were $2.59 billion, compared with $2.41 billion last year.
 Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group reported income of $10.3 million for the quarter, compared with a loss of $3.1 million last year, primarily reflecting significantly improved performance in its mortgage banking operations. Group revenues were up 4.0 percent to $455.0 million, compared with $437.7 million a year ago.
 For the first half, the Coldwell Banker Group reported a loss of $3.1 million, compared with income of $37.9 million a year earlier. Year-to-year comparisons reflect improved operating performance and the absence of significant property sales in 1992. Gains from the sale of property were $3.0 million after-tax in 1992 compared with $68.6 million in 1991. Group revenues totaled $839.2 million, a 10.6 percent increase over the $759.0 million a year earlier.
 -0- 7/21/92
 /CONTACT: Gerald E. Buldak of Sears, Roebuck and Co., external communications, 312-875-8371/
 (S) CO: Sears, Roebuck and Co. ST: Illinois IN: REA SU: ERN


TQ -- NY034 -- 1180 07/21/92 09:55 EDT
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Date:Jul 21, 1992
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