What happened

Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD) were gaining after CEO Eddie Lampert vigorously defended the retailer in a rare interview yesterday and in the company's shareholder meeting today.

As of 3:46 p.m. EDT, the stock was up 7.1%.

A sign outside Sears headquarters.

Image source: Sears Holdings.

So what

Speaking to the hometown Chicago Tribune, Lampert said, "We're fighting ... to change the way people do business with us," as he insisted that the former retail giant was still capable of coming back.

Despite the many challenges the company is facing, as it's posted operating losses every year since 2010, and has seen comparable plummet, Lampert said his company, which also owns Kmart, was in a better position than rivals such as Macy'sTarget, or J.C. Penney.

Sears also held its annual shareholder meeting, during which Lampert took the opportunity to blame the media for much of the company's problems.

Now what 

Sears' shares have been especially volatile in recent weeks as many investors anticipate that the company could soon declare bankruptcy. The stock has a habit of falling on bad news such as market warnings or negative sales reports but then bounces back when Lampert expresses optimism for the business or even buys shares.  

Despite Lampert's cheerleading, the prospects of a comeback remain slim and get slimmer every time the company reports a loss. Even if the company was executing, the headwinds against the department store industry may simply be too strong to overcome. n

 

Jeremy Bowman owns shares of J.C. Penney. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.