Why Sears May Not Be That Cheap

Sears Holdings (Nasdaq: SHLD  ) has frequently been identified as a misunderstood value play, and with a lot of real-estate carried well below its intrinsic value, it's easy to see why. 

However, the money that's unlocked from selling or spinning off real estate is only as good as the business you pour it back into. Sears doesn't pay a dividend, so I wouldn't count on one of those to come about with the excess cash. The company may buy back shares, but if you have a deteriorating model, it's only a matter of time until the value of those shares falls back down. 

The only option, and that which Sears is exploring, is reinvesting in the business, but with its track record of capital allocation, the Fool's Austin Smith is still skeptical that the company can make it work. See more in the following video.

There is another cheap retailer that may fare better, and for investors wondering whether J.C. Penney is a buy today, you're invited to claim a copy of The Motley Fool's new must-read report on the company. Learn everything you need to know about Penney's turnaround,and as an added bonus, you'll receive a full year of expert guidance and updates as key news develops. Simply click here now for instant access.


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