Moody’s raises outlook on Sears

Posted April 29, 2010 at 1:35 p.m.

Dow Jones Newswires | Moody’s Investors Service lifted its outlook on Sears Holdings Corp. to positive as the retailer delivered strong sales from some sectors and improved margins. The ratings agency said the outlook change reflects the stellar performance from Sears Canada and Kmart franchises, as well as the positive business trend Moody’s sees in the retail markets.

Moody’s said the recent effort by Sears to market its brands can also
improve profit margins. The retailer’s recognized Kenmore and Craftsman
brands have helped offset general soft demand.

Moody’s has Sears at Ba2, two steps into junk territory. An upgrade
could take place if operating margins increase “meaningfully.”

In February, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services raised Sears’
outlook to stable on its strong fiscal fourth-quarter results. Sears
earlier this month projected first-quarter earnings above analysts’
expectations on continued sales growth at Kmart.

Shares are up 4.5 percent at $124.50 in recent trading amid a broad
market rally. The stock has more than doubled in the past year.


Comments are closed.