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GuruFocus Financial Strength Rank measures how strong a company’s financial situation is. It is based on these factors

1. The debt burden that the company has as measured by its Interest coverage (current year).
2. Debt to revenue ratio. The lower, the better
3. Altman Z-score.

A company ranks high with financial strength is likely to withstand any business slowdowns and recessions.

Financial Strength : 4/10

vs
industry
vs
history
Cash-to-Debt 0.05
SHLD's Cash-to-Debt is ranked lower than
94% of the 940 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 0.95 vs. SHLD: 0.05 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Cash-to-Debt only.
SHLD' s Cash-to-Debt Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.05  Med: 0.36 Max: 8.36
Current: 0.05
0.05
8.36
Equity-to-Asset -0.44
SHLD's Equity-to-Asset is ranked lower than
99% of the 929 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 0.49 vs. SHLD: -0.44 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Equity-to-Asset only.
SHLD' s Equity-to-Asset Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -0.44  Med: 0.34 Max: 0.52
Current: -0.44
-0.44
0.52
Debt-to-Equity -1.16
SHLD's Debt-to-Equity is ranked lower than
99.99% of the 707 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 0.46 vs. SHLD: -1.16 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Debt-to-Equity only.
SHLD' s Debt-to-Equity Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -3.97  Med: 0.34 Max: 41.17
Current: -1.16
-3.97
41.17
Piotroski F-Score: 2
Altman Z-Score: 0.97
Beneish M-Score: -2.32
WACC vs ROIC
9.07%
-162.26%
WACC
ROIC
GuruFocus Profitability Rank ranks how profitable a company is and how likely the company’s business will stay that way. It is based on these factors:

1. Operating Margin
2. Trend of the Operating Margin (5-year average). The company with an uptrend profit margin has a higher rank.
••3. Consistency of the profitability
4. Piotroski F-Score
5. Predictability Rank•

The maximum rank is 10. A rank of 7 or higher means a higher profitability and may stay that way. A rank of 3 or lower indicates that the company has had trouble to make a profit.

Profitability Rank is not directly related to the Financial Strength Rank. But if a company is consistently profitable, its financial strength will be stronger.

Profitability & Growth : 2/10

vs
industry
vs
history
Operating Margin % -5.80
SHLD's Operating Margin % is ranked lower than
90% of the 941 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 3.50 vs. SHLD: -5.80 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Operating Margin % only.
SHLD' s Operating Margin % Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -8.93  Med: -2.33 Max: 3.13
Current: -5.8
-8.93
3.13
Net Margin % -6.90
SHLD's Net Margin % is ranked lower than
89% of the 942 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 2.26 vs. SHLD: -6.90 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Net Margin % only.
SHLD' s Net Margin % Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -10.03  Med: -3.05 Max: 1.63
Current: -6.9
-10.03
1.63
ROA % -14.11
SHLD's ROA % is ranked lower than
93% of the 947 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 2.82 vs. SHLD: -14.11 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful ROA % only.
SHLD' s ROA % Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -21.46  Med: -5.92 Max: 2.88
Current: -14.11
-21.46
2.88
ROC (Joel Greenblatt) % -35.90
SHLD's ROC (Joel Greenblatt) % is ranked lower than
92% of the 944 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 12.91 vs. SHLD: -35.90 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful ROC (Joel Greenblatt) % only.
SHLD' s ROC (Joel Greenblatt) % Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -59.19  Med: -9.84 Max: 15.64
Current: -35.9
-59.19
15.64
3-Year Revenue Growth Rate -15.30
SHLD's 3-Year Revenue Growth Rate is ranked lower than
88% of the 794 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 1.20 vs. SHLD: -15.30 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful 3-Year Revenue Growth Rate only.
SHLD' s 3-Year Revenue Growth Rate Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -15.3  Med: 2.3 Max: 25.3
Current: -15.3
-15.3
25.3
3-Year EPS without NRI Growth Rate 17.30
SHLD's 3-Year EPS without NRI Growth Rate is ranked higher than
75% of the 606 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 0.50 vs. SHLD: 17.30 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful 3-Year EPS without NRI Growth Rate only.
SHLD' s 3-Year EPS without NRI Growth Rate Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -59.2  Med: -18.25 Max: 56.3
Current: 17.3
-59.2
56.3
GuruFocus has detected 4 Warning Signs with Sears Holdings Corp $SHLD.
More than 500,000 people have already joined GuruFocus to track the stocks they follow and exchange investment ideas.
» SHLD's 30-Y Financials

Financials (Next Earnings Date: 2017-12-08 Est.)


Revenue & Net Income
Cash & Debt
Operating Cash Flow & Free Cash Flow
Operating Cash Flow & Net Income

» Details

Guru Trades

Q3 2016

SHLD Guru Trades in Q3 2016

Jeremy Grantham 2,410,700 sh (unchged)
Francis Chou 1,431,610 sh (unchged)
Steve Mandel 3,500,000 sh (unchged)
Edward Lampert 22,336,105 sh (unchged)
Fairholme Fund 14,497,773 sh (unchged)
Bruce Berkowitz 27,839,448 sh (-0.09%)
Murray Stahl 2,092,194 sh (-7.65%)
» More
Q4 2016

SHLD Guru Trades in Q4 2016

Edward Lampert 22,336,105 sh (unchged)
Jeremy Grantham 3,111,300 sh (unchged)
Steve Mandel 3,500,000 sh (unchged)
Fairholme Fund 14,497,773 sh (unchged)
Bruce Berkowitz 27,716,348 sh (-0.44%)
Francis Chou 1,131,610 sh (-20.96%)
Murray Stahl 367,662 sh (-82.43%)
» More
Q1 2017

SHLD Guru Trades in Q1 2017

Bruce Berkowitz 28,915,448 sh (+4.33%)
Jeremy Grantham 3,111,300 sh (unchged)
Francis Chou 1,131,610 sh (unchged)
Fairholme Fund 14,497,773 sh (unchged)
Edward Lampert 20,535,979 sh (-8.06%)
Murray Stahl 89,239 sh (-75.73%)
» More
Q2 2017

SHLD Guru Trades in Q2 2017

Francis Chou 1,131,610 sh (unchged)
Edward Lampert 20,535,979 sh (unchged)
Jeremy Grantham 3,209,400 sh (unchged)
Fairholme Fund 14,497,773 sh (unchged)
Bruce Berkowitz 28,864,348 sh (-0.18%)
Murray Stahl 69,812 sh (-21.77%)
» More
» Details

Insider Trades

Latest Guru Trades with NAS:SHLD

(List those with share number changes of more than 20%, or impact to portfolio more than 0.1%)

GuruDate Trades Impact to Portfolio Price Range * (?) Current Price Change from Average Current Shares
Bruce Berkowitz 2017-06-30 Reduce -0.18%0.06%$6.37 - $13.99 $ 7.52-20%28,864,348
Bruce Berkowitz 2017-03-31 Add 4.33%1.33%$5.54 - $11.75 $ 7.52-10%28,915,448
Edward Lampert 2017-03-31 Reduce -8.06%2.56%$5.54 - $11.75 $ 7.52-10%20,535,979
Bruce Berkowitz 2017-03-27 Add 1.00%0.25%Premium Member Access $8.5 $ 7.52-12%28,915,448
Bruce Berkowitz 2017-03-22 Add 2.05%0.46%Premium Member Access $7.98 $ 7.52-6%28,628,848
Bruce Berkowitz 2017-03-17 Add 0.80%0.2%Premium Member Access $8.96 $ 7.52-16%28,054,048
Bruce Berkowitz 2017-03-14 Add 0.42%0.11%Premium Member Access $9.22 $ 7.52-18%27,831,948
Bruce Berkowitz 2016-12-31 Reduce -0.44%0.11%$8.18 - $13.3 $ 7.52-34%27,716,348
Bruce Berkowitz 2016-12-22 Reduce -0.03%0.01%Premium Member Access $9.4 $ 7.52-20%27,716,348
Bruce Berkowitz 2016-12-09 Reduce -0.37%0.1%Premium Member Access $11.93 $ 7.52-37%27,725,048
Bruce Berkowitz 2016-10-07 Reduce -0.04%0.01%Premium Member Access $11.67 $ 7.52-36%27,827,748
Bruce Berkowitz 2016-09-30 Reduce -0.09%0.02%$10.99 - $17.79 $ 7.52-47%27,839,448
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Business Description

Industry: Retail - Apparel & Specialty » Department Stores    NAICS: 452111    SIC: 5311
Compare:NYSE:JCP, NAS:SHOS, NAS:BONT, NYSE:DDS, NYSE:M, NYSE:KSS, NYSE:JWN » details
Traded in other countries:SEE.Germany,
Headquarter Location:USA
Sears Holdings Corp is a retailer that integrates the digital and physical shopping experiences for consumers. It provides home merchandise, apparel, automotive products and home services through both online and offline channels.

Sears Holdings Corporation is an America-based retailer that integrates the digital and physical shopping experiences for consumers. The company operates through retail store brands Sears and Kmart. Sears provides a broad range of home merchandise, apparel, automotive products and home services through both online and offline channels across the United States, and it owns proprietary brands, including Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. Kmart is a mass merchandising firm, offering quality products to customers through exclusive brands. The majority of the company's revenue comes from the domestic market.

Guru Investment Theses on Sears Holdings Corp

Bruce Berkowitz Comments on Sears - Aug 08, 2017

From the ashes of failed retailers often come great real estate companies. Malls and shopping centers are not in permanent decline. Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) spin-off, Seritage Growth Properties, has re-tenanted over three million square feet at more than three times old rents since 2015, and demand continues to grow. Investors may disagree on the exact path forward for Sears, but the company owns many valuable assets and there is huge value in optimizing all of them. In the first half of the year, Sears sold the Craftsman name for a net present value of $900 million. Real estate sales added another $400 million. Sears remains extremely competitive in all aspects of hardline retail. Company vendors are estimated to earn $5 billion annually from relationships with Sears. There is no reason why Sears cannot share in this success and monetize assets through innovative partnering.

Sears continues to accelerate the pace of its operational restructurings, and is heading toward $1.25 billion in annualized cost savings. The news that Amazon is now offering Kenmore appliances with Sears’ white-glove delivery, warranty, and installation services greatly improves the competitive landscape for both. In addition, “Shop Your Way” already has millions of members enjoying a simple, easy, and personalized shopping experience. If you want to learn more about the Shop Your Way program, visit the following link: www.shopyourway.com/fairholme/getmore.



From Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s mid-year 2017 shareholder letter.

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Bruce Berkowitz Comments on Sears Holdings - Jul 11, 2017

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Fairholme’s latest internal figures have Sear (NASDAQ:SHLD) at a net asset value (NAV) of over $90 per share. This figure has been dramatically reduced over time due to the retail cash burn. We come up with the $90+ per share based upon the remaining real estate of the company – including long-term leases, which we have significantly discounted to be conservative – and, of course, the other major asset values including the remaining brands and approximately $3 billion of paid-for inventory. So it’s the owned real estate, leases, and the brands that account for the majority of our estimated NAV.

In terms of real estate, the company’s been actively selling real estate over the years. Since 2012, the company sold more than 50 million square feet of owned real estate for more than $4 billion. That’s about $80 per square foot. Data also includes property sold to Seritage for an average of $61 per square foot. And the Seritage joint venture sold for an average of $157 per square foot. Our analysis also includes Ala Moana, a ground lease which sold for $200 million, or $586 per square foot.3


  1. Source: All data derived from Real Capital Analytics www.rcanalytics.com, and public filings.

So since 2016, Sears has sold 2.8 million square feet of owned real estate for slightly under $100 per square foot. It’s very hard to come across an example where someone acquired real estate from Sears and did not succeed after redeveloping the location for higher and better use.

Most of the recent store closures are not the company’s most valuable real estate. A majority of the malls in the country need to evolve with redevelopment. At present, Sears is typically the only anchor willing to sell back space at the best malls. And with Sears’ goal of shrinking its footprint to a smaller box, there’s more than enough opportunity for all sides to win.

Over the years we’ve found that you really need to conduct a property-by-property, submarket-specific analysis to truly understand the values, because the value goes way beyond the physical box containing a retail operation.

For instance, the Sears at South Coast Plaza in California and the two Kmarts in New York City have significant value. Even if you look at a location like the Clearview Mall in Louisiana, you’d be mistaken if you simply focused on the grade of the mall assigned by any type of national database. The Sears there is located at the best part of the mall. It has great visibility from the main streets. There’s still strong demand to repurpose the big box, the detached auto center, and the parking area. So the true value of that real estate is considerably higher than what you might think by just looking at a database.

Daniel Schmerin: How have the company’s operating results over the last few years impacted your investment thesis and perception of the company’s intrinsic value? What amount of future operating losses, if any, from Sears’ retail business does this estimate include?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): The last few years have diminished our estimate of intrinsic value by almost half due to the operating losses. The cash burn is real. And frankly the net asset value will continue to decline until the cash burn subsides. And more recently, we’ve haircut all the lease values by roughly 50% to reflect the continued cash burn. So, we put a major haircut on something that was already discounted at wholesale values. And the biggest risk to our thesis has been the company’s desire and ability to effectively compete as a retailer. Effectuating that corporate transformation has been costly, and the results are not yet in.

Daniel Schmerin: What is the worst case scenario for Sears? Given the carnage in the retail industry and the ongoing cash burn at Sears, why do you keep investing in that company?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Well, as for the worst case, I think that we’re pretty much seeing it given that Sears equity is trading much closer to zero than it is to our $90 plus-per-share estimated net asset value. As for why we keep investing in the company, well, the price has declined much faster than net asset value.

A considerable margin of safety still remains and the operating losses can stop. And when losses do stop, I actually believe our net asset value estimates will increase.

Daniel Schmerin: In an earlier conference call, you mentioned your belief that the operating losses at Sears were largely voluntary. Can you expand upon what you meant by that statement? Do you still believe that is the case?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): The losses at Sears in recent years have primarily been due to the transformation of Sears the retailer into a profitable operation. If you stop the retail transformation, you stop a substantial amount of the losses.

Daniel Schmerin: You’ve also stated in the past that Sears was primarily a real estate investment. If this is true, why hasn’t the company been focusing and investing in that asset rather than in the retail operation to maximize value for shareholders?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Well Dan, I think we stated from day one that it’s always been our belief that the real estate within Sears was the margin of safety in the investment. We were never certain on the retail; that’s not our expertise and I think we’ve proven it’s not our expertise. But the company is now moving faster and faster to right-size its operations.

In a best case scenario, Sears is able to successfully and effectively operate as a leaner retail operation focused on Shop Your Way members – that is, focused on best members, best products, best locations – and can do it in a way where cash flows are positive and the company is able to retain control and develop its valuable real estate.

In that case, the first $10 billion of profits will be tax free because of accumulated net operating losses. That’s the upside scenario we are looking at.

Daniel Schmerin: How are our interests aligned with Sears CEO Eddie Lampert? Do his secured loans to Sears outweigh his equity interests? And should we, as shareholders, be concerned?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): We’re quite aligned with the equity ownership and with the unsecured debt ownership. ESL Investments does own a significant amount of secured debt which would be paid first. But as the real estate is sold, you should see those secured debt amounts diminish.

Daniel Schmerin: With respect to Sears, what is the Fairholme Fund (Trades, Portfolio)’s average cost? In other words, from the current share price, how much higher will those shares have to climb for us to break even?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Well, on a tax basis, our average cost is $61 per share. So there’ll be no taxes on the Sears position until we get back to $61 per share. The book cost position is really a question of when shareholders decided to buy, when they decide to sell, and also it’s a function of the Funds’ decisions to buy, hold, or sell as the Funds’ capital has been shrinking.

So a breakeven on Sears would be tough to compute for a shareholder and it really doesn’t make a lot of sense. You should just look at the individual Funds’ breakeven – in other words, where you bought it, where you are, and whether you’re up or down.

Daniel Schmerin: Why do you favor Sears’ equity over Sears’ bonds?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): I don’t. Fairholme entities own 27% of Sears common stock and 30% of the outstanding warrants. We also own 58% of the Sears 8.000% bonds due in 2019 – the senior unsecured notes. We have a majority of that debt.

Daniel Schmerin: What is more important at this point in time, returning the company to profitability in order to alter market perception, or to show positive year-over-year sales trends to demonstrate that the company’s footprint has been rightsized and give credibility to the company’s e-commerce platform?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): There’s no doubt, returning to profitability is the most important action because when you do that, time becomes the company’s friend and the returns should increase. So time becomes very positive when you return to profitability. You’re also going to get a better look at the assets of the company once the concerns about lack of profitability are extinguished. People will be able to focus on the assets of the company and understand what’s truly there. And of course, I believe the value of assets that are transacted will improve.

But clearly, extinguishing the loss will put the company in a better negotiating position for its asset base. In fact, it’ll put it in a better negotiating position with vendors and all others. So returning to profitability is key and the time is now.

Daniel Schmerin: Several shareholders asked for your thoughts on Shop Your Way. It has grown substantially and significant capital has been spent on that membership program. What does its future look like, and do you have a sense of its value today?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Shop Your Way is the transformation vehicle. It’s a social shopping destination with a rewards program, and there are tens of millions of members. The whole idea is you can shop anywhere and anyway that you want, and it’s intended to deliver value and convenience to members every day. It also allows Sears to transition to an asset-light model and enables them to be more agile, more consumer centric.

When it comes to Shop Your Way, the best thing for shareholders to do is join the Shop Your Way program and try it out.4 They should also try out the Sears MasterCard, which is really the Shop Your Way MasterCard, which has an industry-leading 5-3-2-1 rewards offer. So, test it out. Until I hear from people, I won’t predict the end state of Shop Your Way. Send me your feedback. I’m a big user of Shop Your Way and I’d love to compare notes with our shareholders.5

Daniel Schmerin: Can you explain the value of the Sears reinsurance subsidiary based in Bermuda?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Sears Re is the company’s self-insurance vehicle. It allows the company to save costs by cutting out middlemen when paying claims on protection agreements and other types of insurance. It helps increase margins. The balance sheet of an insurance company is much different from the balance sheet of a retailer. The net asset value of insurers is basically the assets minus liabilities. In this case, the liabilities are reserves against expected insurance claim losses. In my opinion, the company is quite well reserved.

Daniel Schmerin: Can you explain why you are optimistic about the plans that Sears has announced over the course of 2017? What is the path to success for our investment?

Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Sears has announced that expenses are going to be reduced by $1.25 billion. In addition, overall liabilities will be reduced by at least a billion dollars. This is a big change for one year. These actions will increase profitability and liquidity, but I know and I understand that most will not believe it until they see it.



From Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s June 29, 2017, public conference call commentary part I.

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Francis Chou Comments on Sears Holdings Corp - Mar 24, 2017

In July 2015, Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced that it closed its rights offering and sale leaseback transactions with Seritage Growth Properties ("Seritage"), a newly formed, independent, and publicly traded real estate investment trust ("REIT").

In the transaction, Sears sold 235 Sears- and Kmart-branded stores to Seritage, along with Sears’ 50 percent interests in joint ventures with each of Simon Property Group, Inc., General Growth Properties, Inc. and The Macerich Company. The three entities combined hold an additional 31 Sears Holdings properties. Based on our rough estimate, this represented less than 25% of the company’s real estate assets and Sears Holdings received aggregate gross proceeds from the transaction of $2.7 billion.

However, from our perspective, the most important thing that has happened is that Seritage is now a public company and when its stock trades daily, we have a more reliable way of assessing the real estate value in SHLD indirectly. We also know that pre-Seritage and post-Seritage, the profile and the quality of the properties that is held in Seritage and SHLD is roughly the same.

Considering SHLD’s brand collections and what we believe to be the value of the SHLD real estate portfolio (based in part upon our analysis of the Seritage valuation over the reporting period), it may appear that at the year -end price of $9.29 for Sears (about $994 million in market capitalization), the company is severely underpriced. However, given the company’s net debt of approximately $4 billion, pension deficit of about $2 billion, and the enormous losses it has taken to date to transform its business from a brick and mortar business to an asset-light business, we believe that the intrinsic value of SHLD may have been severely eroded (notwithstanding its real estate and brand portfolio). It is hard to evaluate what kind of value you can assign to company’s “Shop Your Way” program even though management has poured billions of dollars into it. From management’s perspective, they can argue that “Shop Your Way” could be worth more than the capital invested. However, unless it generates significant amounts of cash or cash earnings relative to the capital invested, it is doubtful if it could be worth anything. It is hard to foresee why investors will give a similar valuation of Amazon.com to “Shop Your Way” even though Sears’ membership program has some characteristics similar to Amazon Prime. In conclusion, even if you take the best case scenario and “Shop Your Way” turns out to be profitable, it could be a Pyrrhic victory.

In hindsight, our initial assessment of Sears being worth more than $50 per share a few years ago was most likely too optimistic. This is taking into consideration that we received roughly $13 per share in distribution from various spin-offs and later receiving proceeds from selling them into the stock markets. Nevertheless, we believe that the stock may still be cheap at the current valuation, albeit not at the level that we initially anticipated.

From Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio)'s Opportunity Fund fourth quarter 2016 shareholder letter.

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Bruce Berkowitz Comments on Sears - Jan 31, 2017

Focusing on tangible assets has served us over many years, but most believe Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) to be the exception to the rule. Disruptive technologies; near-zero cost of capital; and few, if any, legacy obligations provide young competitors with great advantages over old-line operators. Today, Airbnb is the largest lodging company in the world without owning a single hotel room. Uber is the world’s largest taxi company without owning a car (and perhaps soon without utilizing a single driver). Intuit’s Rocket Mortgage lends only via the net. Amazon crushes competition without a physical retail footprint. Mega-tech companies are now trusted in all aspects of personal and corporate life. I’m reminded of this every day by my Fairholme team, our clients, fellow directors at Sears, and friends.

Bottom line: Sears has degraded net asset values, but there is still much left and the company is fixing its cash drain. Recent corporate announcements – including (i) the proposed sale of Craftsman to Stanley Black and Decker for a cumulative $775 million plus a 15-year royalty stream on all third-party Craftsman sales to new customers and the use of a perpetual license for the Craftsman brand by Sears (royalty free) for 15 years; (ii) shuttering 150 unprofitable stores in 2017 on top of the roughly 235 stores that were closed in 2016; and (iii) marketing certain properties within the company’s real estate portfolio to further unlock value – reflect an acceleration in the company’s transformation efforts consistent with Chairman Eddie Lampert’s recent public comments:

[In late September 2016], we announced a partnership between Shop Your Way, Sears Auto Centers and Uber. This is another example of how we are transforming Sears Holdings to focus on serving our Shop Your Way members … Expect additional partnerships over time emphasizing our Shop Your Way business … Kmart continues to operate over 700 stores … a significant number of these stores are profitable … we are intent on improving the performance of our unprofitable stores and, if we cannot, we will close them … We are acting more aggressively and continuing to evaluate stores as leases expire and as other opportunities present themselves that improve the economics of Sears Holdings. Our significant asset base gives us the wherewithal to fund our business, but we don’t intend to use our asset value to support losses.4



From Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Fairholme Fund (Trades, Portfolio) annual shareholder letter 2016.

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Bruce Berkowitz Comments on Sears Holdings - Aug 02, 2016

The Funds’ investments in Sears span the capital structure – from common equity to short-duration bonds yielding over 10% – and yours truly joined the Board of Directors in February. The company is “focused on restoring profitability” and improving operating performance by transforming “from a traditional, store-only based retailer into a more asset-light, member-centric integrated retailer.”6 Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) also announced that it intends to unlock more value for shareholders by exploring strategic alternatives for its Home Services as well as Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard brands. Similar public businesses have enterprise values that range from one-half to two times revenues. Market observers are just discovering parts of Sears that they hardly knew existed. Case in point: a press article recently “uncovered” developments at Innovel Solutions (previously known as Sears Logistics Services), a profitable 1,100-truck delivery service with a distribution network consisting of 11 regional warehouses and 24- to 48-hour delivery capability for the majority of households in the United States. The service “has grown 238 percent since 2014”7 and is expanding relationships with manufacturing customers, retailers like Costco, and even the U.S. military. It’s taking much longer than we thought, but we’re still optimistic.


From Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s first-half 2016 letter to shareholders.

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Francis Chou Comments on Sears Holdings Corp - May 23, 2016

In July 2015, Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) announced that it had closed its rights offering and sale-leaseback transactions with Seritage Growth Properties (“Seritage”), a recently formed, independent, publicly traded real estate investment trust (“REIT”).

In the transaction, Sears sold 235 Sears- and Kmart-branded stores to Seritage along with Sears’ 50 percent interests in joint ventures with each of Simon Property Group, Inc., General Growth Properties, Inc. and The Macerich Company, which together, hold an additional 31 Sears Holdings properties. Based on our rough estimate, this represented less than 25% of the company’s real estate assets.

Sears Holdings received aggregate gross proceeds from the transaction of $2.7 billion, which provides the Company with enhanced financial flexibility to accelerate investments in its transformation to an asset-light, member-centric, integrated retailer.

However, from our perspective, the most important thing that happened was that Seritage is now a public company and when its stock trades daily, we have a more reliable way of assessing the real estate value in SHLD indirectly. We also know that pre-Seritage and post-Seritage, the profile and the quality of the properties held in Seritage and SHLD is roughly the same.

At the current price of $15 for Sears, the company is being priced in the market for about $1.5 billion. Even if you include the debt of roughly $3 billion, we believe that the price of Sears is severely underpriced.

However, the comparison is not apples to apples. Seritage is a clean real estate company whereas SHLD has some serious problems with its retail operations. As every day goes by, the losses from operations are eroding the value of SHLD that comes from its real estate and brand names. Those brand names such as Kenmore, Craftsman and Diehard, we believe collectively could be worth as much as $3 billion. The transformation from the bricks-and-mortar business to their member-centric Shop Your Way (www.shopyourway.com) is happening; whether it is going to be successful or not is another story. These types of ventures should be classified as “venture capitals” and in spite of all the positive spins written about the transformation, it is still a hit or miss affair. Still, netting out all the negatives and all the losses from operations, we believe that the intrinsic value of Sears is far above the current price of $15.

From Francis Chou (Trades, Portfolio)'s 2015 annual shareholder letter.

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Bruce Berkowitz Comments on Sears - May 20, 2016

Daniel Schmerin: Let’s move on, we received the most questions about Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD).





How do you evaluate your investment in Sears today?





Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Our thesis on Sears cannot be disproven: Sears has a vast real estate empire complemented by unique businesses. Sears also has constraints, and we understand those constraints. As part of our investment process, we developed progress checklists concerning Sears’ fixed obligations, balance sheet strength, footprint, pension fund obligations, the repurposing of real estate, and spinning off companies that would benefit from independence. We thought about all of the possibilities and the potential.





We do understand today that the retail world is morphing, and we understand the challenge of optimizing a huge set of company assets subject to those constraints. On our checklist the two remaining issues are pension fund obligations and retailing losses. The first, the pension fund obligation, should improve over time, especially with higher interest rates. The other remaining issue, the retail losses, is, in our opinion, voluntary, and is expected to stop this year.





Daniel Schmerin: We received several questions about the mistakes that Sears has made over the years, and the impact that those mistakes have had on our investment.





What are you views?





Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Dan, nobody is perfect, and in hindsight it’s easy. Yes, Sears bought back stock too high. Yes, I was way, way too early in buying Sears stock for our shareholders. Yes, Sears’ pension obligation has been a larger consumer of cash than I anticipated, due in part to the prolonged low interest rate environment. I did not predict that the pension fund would chew up $2 billion of cash in recent years, which as of today is more than the entire market cap of the company.





Yes, these have been unforced errors that have caused a delay of game. It is taking longer than I thought to maximize and monetize the enormous asset base under the Sears umbrella than we would have expected, but it is happening. Last year’s spin-off of 266 properties to a newly formed real estate investment trust called Seritage is proof positive. And the nearly $32 of distributions that shareholders have received from other Sears corporate actions serves as additional proof.



Daniel Schmerin: Is it fathomable that the market is missing the huge gap between Sears’ current stock price and our estimate of intrinsic value, which you published in our Annual Letter last month?





Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): It’s not just fathomable, it’s today’s reality. Our shareholders have to remember Fairholme’s success to date is precisely based on this concept that having a unique viewpoint allows us to buy companies at tremendous discounts. It wasn’t that long ago that AIG was perceived to be dead; Bank of America was perceived to be dead; the entire financial system was about to go over the cliff. We disagreed, and we invested in financial companies and helped stabilize those companies to the benefit of our shareholders, and the country recovered.

We expect the same to be true of all our current investments, including Sears. The facts tell us that we own valuable assets at historic discounts. The facts determine our confidence and willingness to stay the course. Either Sears’ price is going to climb to our assessment of intrinsic value, or we are wrong about that value and it will decline toward the current stock price. Most likely the stock price and our estimate of intrinsic value will meet somewhere in the middle of this large range of possibilities, the same way it has happened for almost every investment at Fairholme.





Daniel Schmerin: We recognize Sears has spent a considerable amount of money trying to stay competitive in a rapidly changing retail environment.





Has it been worthwhile?





Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): I don’t know yet. If Sears is able to return to profitability this year, which is the company’s most important focus during 2016, then yes it has been worthwhile. A considerable portion of the past cash burn is voluntary based on the transformation of the retail businesses. The remaining portion is based upon the pension and rent expenses, which will go down with time. Again, Sears has been going through this metamorphosis, and its technology spending and Shop Your Way marketing spending has been very costly. However, we expect much of the heavy lifting is over, and those expenses should decline.





Daniel Schmerin: Three shareholders asked about the recent Schedule 13D filing, and the perception that you will push for change at Sears.





So what’s the truth?





Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio): Fairholme owns over 25% of Sears’ stock as well as various other Sears-related securities. In mid-December we filed a Schedule 13D on our Sears position. We filed on behalf of our shareholders, and it is important that I express my views to the company. In fact, I was invited to express my views to the company just last month in front of their Board of Directors. I took that opportunity to explain Fairholme’s investment perspective on the company as a whole, as well as its various business units.

This included our view regarding the need to preserve the enormous value of its assets and the imperative to promptly return to profitability. I focused on the cash burn, and how the continuation of the cash burn does not build confidence or trust among all of Sears’ constituents – I’m talking about Sears’ customers, vendors, suppliers, employees, creditors, and investors.





I also discussed my belief that eliminating the cash burn will do more to optimize the value of Sears’ assets than any other action. I also shared my view for Sears to help shareholders better understand the company’s assets and strategies by giving them more information. The bottom line is not everyone has the ability to spend as much time studying Sears as we do. Most people only focus on stock price, and while it is wrong, it is human nature. I recognize that much of what Sears’ management has written has proven true. I recognize that most do not understand the vast asset base at Sears, and I recognize that most do not understand the complexity of optimizing all of the assets. More information and a little more hand holding may be helpful – it sure won’t hurt.





I must tell you after I gave my thoughts to the Board and left, I did not sense any disagreement among the Board with any of the points that I raised. I left feeling that we were squarely on the same page. I clearly believe that they know what to do and my views were not revolutionary at all. Also, it is important to note that as I left, there appeared to be an appropriate sense of urgency for these matters.

From Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s Feb. 23, 2016, Fairholme Fund (Trades, Portfolio) conference call.

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Bruce Berkowitz Comments on Sears Holdings Corp - Feb 03, 2016

Sears Holdings Corporation (“Sears”) (NASDAQ:SHLD) common stock, warrants, and bonds comprise 13.2% of Fund assets. Our ongoing valuation work reinforces our longstanding belief that Sears is worth multiples of its current market price (as evidenced in the chart below), largely based on its vast real estate empire and disparate businesses confi gured to sell, deliver, connect, control, service, and replace all manner of consumer products. Throughout the year, the Fund took advantage of price declines to increase its stake.

Last year’s sale of 266 properties for $3.1 billion unlocked one-fourth of the company’s real estate square footage. The properties included in the transaction were not exclusively the crème de la crème of the company’s real estate portfolio as many have falsely asserted. Instead, the quality of the properties included in the transaction closely mirrors the approximately 170 million square feet of real estate retained by Sears today as depicted in the following chart.

Proceeds from the sale were used to reduce corporate debt by $936 million, and the company must now accelerate its return to profi tability in order to rebuild confi dence with customers, creditors, vendors, employees, and other investors. Doing so should enable Sears to optimize the value of all its assets.



From Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s 2015 Annual Letter for the Fairholme Allocation Fund.

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Bruce Berkowitz Comments on Sears Holdings Corp - Feb 03, 2016

Sears Holdings Corporation (“Sears”) (NASDAQ:SHLD) common stock, warrants, and bonds comprise 13.2% of Fund assets. Our ongoing valuation work reinforces our longstanding belief that Sears is worth multiples of its current market price (as evidenced in the chart below), largely based on its vast real estate empire and disparate businesses confi gured to sell, deliver, connect, control, service, and replace all manner of consumer products. Throughout the year, the Fund took advantage of price declines to increase its stake.

Last year’s sale of 266 properties for $3.1 billion unlocked one-fourth of the company’s real estate square footage. The properties included in the transaction were not exclusively the crème de la crème of the company’s real estate portfolio as many have falsely asserted. Instead, the quality of the properties included in the transaction closely mirrors the approximately 170 million square feet of real estate retained by Sears today as depicted in the following chart.

Proceeds from the sale were used to reduce corporate debt by $936 million, and the company must now accelerate its return to profi tability in order to rebuild confi dence with customers, creditors, vendors, employees, and other investors. Doing so should enable Sears to optimize the value of all its assets.

From Bruce Berkowitz (Trades, Portfolio)'s 2015 Annual Letter for the Fairholme Fund.

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Ratios

vs
industry
vs
history
PS Ratio 0.04
SHLD's PS Ratio is ranked higher than
99% of the 913 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 0.70 vs. SHLD: 0.04 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful PS Ratio only.
SHLD' s PS Ratio Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.03  Med: 0.11 Max: 0.41
Current: 0.04
0.03
0.41
EV-to-EBIT -4.17
SHLD's EV-to-EBIT is ranked lower than
99.99% of the 737 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 14.76 vs. SHLD: -4.17 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful EV-to-EBIT only.
SHLD' s EV-to-EBIT Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -9.8  Med: -2.65 Max: 71.7
Current: -4.17
-9.8
71.7
EV-to-EBITDA -6.04
SHLD's EV-to-EBITDA is ranked lower than
99.99% of the 779 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 11.75 vs. SHLD: -6.04 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful EV-to-EBITDA only.
SHLD' s EV-to-EBITDA Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -127.5  Med: 4.45 Max: 486.9
Current: -6.04
-127.5
486.9
EV-to-Revenue 0.25
SHLD's EV-to-Revenue is ranked higher than
88% of the 933 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 0.78 vs. SHLD: 0.25 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful EV-to-Revenue only.
SHLD' s EV-to-Revenue Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.1  Med: 0.2 Max: 0.5
Current: 0.25
0.1
0.5
Current Ratio 0.92
SHLD's Current Ratio is ranked lower than
78% of the 929 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 1.64 vs. SHLD: 0.92 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Current Ratio only.
SHLD' s Current Ratio Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.9  Med: 1.27 Max: 3.62
Current: 0.92
0.9
3.62
Quick Ratio 0.23
SHLD's Quick Ratio is ranked lower than
92% of the 929 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 0.92 vs. SHLD: 0.23 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Quick Ratio only.
SHLD' s Quick Ratio Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.13  Med: 0.26 Max: 2.05
Current: 0.23
0.13
2.05
Days Inventory 98.25
SHLD's Days Inventory is ranked lower than
55% of the 884 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 90.95 vs. SHLD: 98.25 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Days Inventory only.
SHLD' s Days Inventory Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 90.89  Med: 99.12 Max: 103.94
Current: 98.25
90.89
103.94
Days Sales Outstanding 6.84
SHLD's Days Sales Outstanding is ranked higher than
61% of the 754 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 14.40 vs. SHLD: 6.84 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Days Sales Outstanding only.
SHLD' s Days Sales Outstanding Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 5.02  Med: 5.86 Max: 7.68
Current: 6.84
5.02
7.68
Days Payable 15.68
SHLD's Days Payable is ranked lower than
85% of the 701 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 50.04 vs. SHLD: 15.68 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Days Payable only.
SHLD' s Days Payable Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 15.68  Med: 33.77 Max: 38.25
Current: 15.68
15.68
38.25

Buy Back

vs
industry
vs
history
3-Year Average Share Buyback Ratio -0.30
SHLD's 3-Year Average Share Buyback Ratio is ranked higher than
54% of the 505 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: -0.50 vs. SHLD: -0.30 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful 3-Year Average Share Buyback Ratio only.
SHLD' s 3-Year Average Share Buyback Ratio Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -20.2  Med: 2.9 Max: 9.6
Current: -0.3
-20.2
9.6

Valuation & Return

vs
industry
vs
history
Price-to-Median-PS-Value 0.37
SHLD's Price-to-Median-PS-Value is ranked higher than
94% of the 830 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 1.06 vs. SHLD: 0.37 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Price-to-Median-PS-Value only.
SHLD' s Price-to-Median-PS-Value Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: 0.31  Med: 1.22 Max: 4.25
Current: 0.37
0.31
4.25
Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) % -24.00
SHLD's Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) % is ranked lower than
95% of the 952 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 5.23 vs. SHLD: -24.00 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) % only.
SHLD' s Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) % Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -41.1  Med: -10.7 Max: 17.8
Current: -24
-41.1
17.8
Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) % 4.17
SHLD's Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) % is ranked lower than
54% of the 554 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 3.68 vs. SHLD: 4.17 )
Ranked among companies with meaningful Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) % only.
SHLD' s Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) % Range Over the Past 10 Years
Min: -20.6  Med: -1.4 Max: 37.6
Current: 4.17
-20.6
37.6

More Statistics

Revenue (TTM) (Mil) $19,747.00
EPS (TTM) $ -12.73
Beta0.94
Short Percentage of Float54.71%
52-Week Range $5.50 - 14.32
Shares Outstanding (Mil)107.45
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