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SEARS REPORTS ANNUAL EARNINGS

 CHICAGO, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- As a result of previously announced unusual items and accounting changes totaling $5.48 billion, Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) today reported a net loss for 1992 of $3.93 billion, or $10.72 per common share, compared with net income of $1.28 billion, or $3.71 per common share in 1991. For the fourth quarter, Sears reported a net loss of $1.80 billion, or $4.84 per common share in 1992, compared with net income in 1991 of $513.1 million, or $1.48 per common share.
 Major factors affecting Sears' after-tax results in 1992 included: a $1.87 billion non-cash charge to adopt new accounting standards for postretirement and other postemployment benefits; a $1.72 billion Merchandise Group restructuring charge; a $1.65 billion charge for catastrophe losses incurred by Allstate Insurance Co. from Hurricane Andrew; a $206.7 million write-down of various Homart Development Co. properties; and gains totaling $86.6 million from the first quarter sales of minority interests in SPS Transaction Services, Inc., and Sears Mexico.
 As a result of Sears' earlier announcement to divest some of its financial services units in 1993, Sears will now report results from continuing operations, which include Sears Merchandise Group, Allstate Insurance Group and Homart Development Co., separately from results of discontinued operations, consisting of Dean Witter Financial Services Group and Coldwell Banker Residential Services (Coldwell Banker's residential and mortgage businesses).
 The impact of significant unusual items on the year and the quarter is summarized in the following table:
 (After-tax $ in millions, except per common share amounts)
 Fourth Quarter Twelve Months
 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Inc. bef. unusual items:
 Continuing opers. $ 504.2 $ 433.6 $ 1,064.9 $ 915.6
 Discontinued opers. 106.6 79.5 481.7 363.3
 Total 610.8 513.1 1,546.6 1,278.9
 Total unusual items (2,415.6) -- (5,478.9) --
 Net income (loss) (1,804.8) 513.1 (3,932.3) 1,278.9
 Net income (loss)
 consists of:
 Continuing opers. (1,909.9) 433.6 (2,566.8) 915.6
 Discontinued opers. 105.1 79.5 507.9 363.3
 Cumulative effect
 of accounting changes -- -- (1,873.4) --
 Net income (loss) $(1,804.8) $ 513.1 $(3,932.3) $ 1,278.9
 Per common share $(4.84) $1.48 $(10.72) $3.71
 Continuing operations reported a loss in 1992 of $2.57 billion, or $7.02 per common share. Excluding the significant unusual items, continuing operations had income of $1.06 billion for the year, compared with income of $915.6 million, or $2.65 per common share, in 1991. Income from discontinued operations for the year was $507.9 million, or $1.37 per common share. Excluding the effect of the unusual items, discontinued operations had income of $481.7 million, compared with $363.3 million, or $1.06 per common share, in 1991. The cumulative effect of previously announced accounting changes for postretirement and other postemployment benefits (Statements of Financial Accounting Standards No. 106 and 112) was $1.87 billion, or $5.07 per common share for the year.
 Continuing operations reported a fourth quarter loss of $1.91 billion, or $5.12 per common share. Excluding the significant unusual items, continuing operations had income of $504.2 million, compared with income from continuing operations of $433.6 million, or $1.25 per common share, in the fourth quarter of 1991. Fourth quarter income from discontinued operations was $105.1
million, or 28 cents per common share. Before the accounting changes, discontinued operations had income of $106.6 million, compared with $79.5 million, or 23 cents per common share, in the fourth quarter of last year.
 Consolidated revenues from continuing operations for the year totaled $52.34 billion, an increase of 2.7 percent from $50.98 billion in 1991. For the fourth quarter, revenues rose 4.6 percent to $15.02 billion from $14.36 billion in the comparable 1991 quarter.
 Sears Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward A. Brennan said 1992 was the most difficult in the company's 106-year history due to several unusual events, including the impact of Hurricane Andrew, the country's worst natural
disaster. "However, it was a pivotal year as well. We embarked upon a new corporate strategy that focuses on our core businesses of retail and insurance as we divest some of our financial services units. The performance of Dean Witter and Coldwell Banker Residential Services was exceptionally strong in 1992. Our new corporate strategy will permit shareholders to participate more directly in our financial services achievements, improve shareholder value and strengthen our balance sheet," Brennan said.
 The following table summarizes contributions to income by business as reported and as adjusted for significant unusual items (see supplemental information):
 Contribution to Income
 (After-tax $ in millions)
 Fourth Quarter
 1992 1991
 Actual Adjusted Actual
 Continuing operations:
 Sears Merchandise $(1,464.3) $222.3 $289.1
 Allstate (138.9) 367.0 210.9
 Homart (216.9) (10.1) 15.6
 Corporate & other (89.8) (75.0) (82.0)
 Income (loss) from
 continuing businesses (1,909.9) 504.2 433.6
 Discontinued operations:
 Dean Witter 86.8 87.9 83.8
 CB Residential Services 19.0 19.4 1.6
 Intergroup Transactions (0.7) (0.7) (5.9)
 Income from
 discontinued businesses 105.1 106.6 79.5
 Income (loss) $(1,804.8) $610.8 $513.1
 Twelve Months
 1992 1991
 Actual Adjusted Actual
 Continuing operations:
 Sears Merchandise $(2,977.0) $ 264.9 $ 486.3
 Allstate (825.2) 1,173.2 722.5
 Homart (257.3) (48.6) 34.2
 Corporate & other (345.7) (324.6) (327.4)
 Income (loss) from
 continuing businesses (4,405.2) 1,064.9 915.6
 Discontinued operations:
 Dean Witter 410.5 411.5 344.6
 CB Residential Services 67.2 75.0 26.4
 Intergroup Transactions (4.8) (4.8) (7.7)
 Income from
 discontinued businesses 472.9 481.7 363.3
 Income (loss) $(3,932.3) $1,546.6 $1,278.9
 Continuing Operations
 Sears Merchandise Group
 The Merchandise Group reported a loss of $2.98 billion for 1992. Excluding the significant unusual items, Merchandise Group income was $264.9 million, compared with $486.3 million in 1991. Although revenue improved, disappointing automotive results and lower overall margins due to above-average promotional and clearance markdowns adversely impacted domestic merchandising income. Catalog continued to experience losses, totaling $159.8 million before unusual items in 1992, compared with $144.7 million in 1991. Credit had record income before accounting changes of $410.6 million for the year, up $17.1 million from $393.5 million in 1991. International incurred a loss of $23.6 million for 1992 before unusual items, compared with income of $2.4 million in the prior year. Sears Mexico continued to perform well, but Sears Canada's results lagged due to a depressed economic environment. Revenues for the full year were $31.96 billion, compared with $31.43 billion in 1991.
 The Merchandise Group's fourth-quarter loss was $1.46 billion. Before the significant unusual items, income was $222.3 million, compared with $289.1 million in 1991. Revenues rose 3.5 percent to $9.83 billion for the fourth quarter, compared with $9.5 billion in 1991.
 Allstate Insurance Group
 Allstate reported a net loss in 1992 of $825.2 million. Excluding the impact of Hurricane Andrew and the accounting changes, Allstate income was $1.17 billion, compared with $722.5 million in 1991. Strong improvements in property-liability underwriting results from favorable trends in claim frequencies and severities more than offset record catastrophe losses excluding Hurricane Andrew. Income from life operations decreased from $165.6 million in 1991 to $89.9 million before accounting changes in 1992, due to losses on the commercial mortgage portfolio, partially offset by gains on other investments. Allstate's realized capital gains after taxes were $107.0 million in 1992, compared with $3.2 million in 1991. Group revenues rose 4.5 percent to $20.23 billion for 1992 compared with $19.35 billion in 1991.
 Allstate's fourth-quarter loss was $138.9 million. Adjusting for the $500.0 million increase in Hurricane Andrew losses and the incremental expense of the accounting changes, Allstate's income was $367.0 million, compared with $210.9 million in the fourth quarter of 1991. Realized capital gains after taxes were $86.5 million for the fourth quarter of 1992, compared with realized capital losses after taxes of $28.3 million a year earlier. Revenues grew 7.1 percent to $5.14 billion from $4.8 billion last year.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: Gerald E. Buldak of Sears, Roebuck and Co. external communications, 312-875-8371/
 /FIRST ADD TO FOLLOW/
 (S)


CO: Sears, Roebuck and Co. ST: Illinois IN: REA SU: ERN

GK -- NY028 -- 4531 02/09/93 10:05 EST
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Date:Feb 9, 1993
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