Sears Lowers Q3 Estimate

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Sears, Roebuck and Co., Hoffman Estates, IL, warned last week that third-quarter profit would drop below Wall Street expectations.


The warning followed the firing of the head of its credit and finance unit, Kevin Keleghan.


"Kevin left the company at my request because I lost confidence in his personal credibility," Sears CEO Alan Lacy said on a conference call. "His departure is not related to business performance and does not indicate a change in our credit strategy."


Results from its credit card business would be weaker than expected because of likely losses from customers who failed to pay their bills, the company said.


The credit and financial products business, according to Reuters, accounted for about 61 percent of the company's operating earnings in the second quarter.


The company expected third-quarter earnings per share of 80-82 cents, including a 3-cent dilution from the purchase of Lands' End. Analysts' earnings estimates had ranged from 81 to 96 cents, according to earnings tracking firm Thomson First Call.


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