Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sears Holdings Letter to Shareholders

Eddie Lampert, Chairman of Sears Holding, published his annual letter to shareholders today describing the results and the future for the company. In the letter, he publishes a chart showing market capitalization, sales and capital expenditures for retail companies worth more than 5 billion. (excerpt of the chart reproduced below) The chart shows the often neglected fact that Sears is a giant in the retail world, ranked 8th in terms of sales. Second, the company's stock is trading at less than 30% of annual sales, which is much lower than its peers. The reason for the discrepancy is in part due to negative bias, but mostly it is because Sears is much less profitable than its competitors. Eddie Lampert's goal going forward is to use the company's scale , size, and unique assets to increase efficiency and squeeze out extra value for Sears shareholders. It seems like a very plausible outcome and at its current price, the stock is worth keeping an eye on.

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