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State

Sears Hometown net income rises

HOFFMAN ESTATES (AP) – Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores’ fiscal third-quarter net income rose 29 percent as sales of appliances, mattresses and clothing climbed.

The company, which was recently spun off from Sears Holdings Corp., earned $8.8 million, or 38 cents per share, for the period ended Oct. 27. That’s up from $6.8 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue increased 3 percent to $556.9 million from $539 million.

CEO and President Bruce Johnson said in a statement on Friday that online sales, cell phone sales, store-to-home sales and web-to-store sales rose 28 percent in the quarter. Consumer electronic sales fell more than 30 percent, but Johnson said that it is consistent with the company’s strategy to move away from that low-margin business in favor of higher-margin categories like appliances and mattresses.

Revenue at stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer’s health, climbed 3.1 percent. This figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

The company said that the 3.1 percent rise was mostly due to increased sales of home appliances in its Hometown and Hardware segment. Those sales were helped by higher prices, promotion, a better product assortment and margin improvement strategies. The retailer said the performance also benefited from increased sales of tools and mattresses in its Hometown and Hardware unit and its Outlet segment due to a larger product assortment. The results were somewhat offset by weaker sales of lawn and garden products because of drought conditions in the U.S. and declining consumer electronics sales.

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc. and its dealers and franchisees operated 1,237 stores across all 50 states as well as in Puerto Rico, Guam and Bermuda as of Oct. 27.

Its shares closed at $32.02 on Thursday. They have traded in a range of $28 to $37.25 since their October debut.

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