Today SHLD reported disappointing earnings as was expected given their announcement right after Christmas, which caused the stock to drop substantially. As you are aware we have never been advocates of Sears as a best in class retailer because it simply is not. Our investment thesis has been that the value of the assets minus the liabilities is significantly greater than the share price. Any upside that could possibly come from the retail side would just be gravy. They have made some serious progress in developing one of the more successful internet retail websites, and we are encouraged by the Sears Rewards strategy that should help build brand loyalty. Today’s announcements of asset sales and spin-offs highlights the inherent value of Sears assets that is just not given any credit as reflected by the stock price. Most analysis that you hear on television on SHLD is lacking in substance and is based more on the look of the stores than the actual determinants that formulate business value. Sears is always one of the most heavily shorted stocks in the S&P 500 so many people are incentivized to spread misinformation on the stock. Just today an “analyst” mentioned that there just isn’t any value in the real estate, completely ignoring today’s sale of just 11 stores for $770MM. Sears is one of the largest owners of commercial real estate in the United States and if you look at comparable valuations on companies such as General Growth Properties or Simon Property Group, the disconnect becomes much more clear. Below I’ve listed links to the Chairman’s letter which I’d highly recommend reading, along with the most recent earnings release. Thank you very much and if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance in any way please don’t hesitate to contact us!
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