Sears Looking to Unload Credit Cards

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Sears, Roebuck and Co. said yesterday it might sell its $30 billion credit card portfolio to focus on its retail business.

The news delivered by Chief Executive Alan Lacy in a conference call with investors caused the company's stock to jump 13 percent in mid-day trading yesterday.

Sears, Hoffman Estates , IL, said it was actively exploring its alternatives and expected to complete a review in the second half of the year.

The company's credit card business has been a problem for Sears because of rising loan defaults largely due to the struggling economy.

Lacy also said that same store sales in the first-quarter were on pace to show a percentage decline in the low-single digits. Sales have slowed since the war in Iraq began, he said

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