Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis

What: Shares of Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) were getting dumped today, falling 14% after the retailer posted dismal holiday sales.

So what: The retailer said same-store sales fell 7.4% companywide in the quarter to date, dropping 9.2% at Sears Domestic locations, 5.7% at Kmart locations, and 4.4% at Sears Canada stores. Sears management offered no commentary on the performance, but did revise its adjusted per-share loss estimate for the quarter down to $2.01-$2.98. Analysts had expected a much stronger result at a loss per share of $0.16.

Now what: Shares of Sears hit a two-year low on the news, falling below $37. They had soared to more than $80 during that period, because many investors had seen the company as an asset play due to its real estate holdings and ownership of brands such as Kenmore and Craftsman. Today's drop seems to underscore the company's operational problems, however. As a retailer, Sears has been struggling for years, and is unlikely to escape from the losses that continue to pile up. That's reason enough to expect shares to continue to fall. 

The best retailer stocks on the market 
To learn about two retailers with especially good prospects, take a look at The Motley Fool's special free report: "The Death of Wal-Mart: The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail." In it, you'll see how these two cash kings are able to consistently outperform, and how they're planning to ride the waves of retail's changing tide. You can access it by clicking here.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Compare Brokers