Investors thought they knew what Edward Lampert's game plan was at Sears Holdings Corp: Sell off hundreds, or thousands, of stores, auction non-core assets like Lands' End, tighten inventories and slash capital spending.
In short, they expected the billionaire hedge fund operator to employ the same golden touch he had wielded as chairman of Kmart Holding Corp.
Now, seven months after Kmart's takeover of Sears, some investors are growing restless.
"Where are we? We don't have any real estate deals done yet," fumes Jeffrey Maillet of Noble Asset Management, a Chicago-based hedge fund that holds Sears shares. "We want to see a clearly defined catalyst for moving the value of this firm up to where we think it should be--which is a heck of a lot higher than it is now."