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HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL-Sears Holding Corp., the company that was formed to combine Kmart Holding Corp. and Sears, Roebuck and Co., reported earnings of $58 million for the third quarter, down from $552 million in the third quarter last year, but this year’s numbers are up against one-time events last year. This year’s third-quarter profit comes to 35 cents a share, versus $5.45 per share last year.

The biggest difference between this year’s results and those of 2004 is that last year’s third-quarter results included a gain of more than $800 million on sales of stores, which boosted overall profit and earnings per share.Revenue increased $7.8 billion to $12.2 billion for the quarter ended Oct. 29, as compared to total revenues of $4.4 billion for the third quarter last year. The increase was primarily attributable to the addition of Sears revenues of $8 billion in 2005, partially offset by a decline in Kmart’s revenues.

The Kmart revenues declined due to a reduction in the total number of stores in operation in the chain and a decline in comparable store sales of 2.8%. Sears Holding noted that although Kmart’s overall comparable store sales declined as a result of lower transaction volumes across most businesses, the apparel business outperformed other businesses and had positive comparable store sales during the period.

The quarterly financial picture emerged as Sears Holdings Corp. is planning to acquire Sears Canada Inc. for $719 million. The company noted that its big sales boost, $12.2 billion for the quarter as compared to total revenues of $4.4 billion for the third quarter of 2004, was primarily attributable to the addition of Sears revenues of $8 billion in 2005.

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