What happened

Shares of Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLDQ) slipped again today as the company announced more layoffs and yet another round of loans to help it stay afloat. The stock was down as much as 6.6% during the session, but closed off 3.1% due to a late-session surge.

The exterior of a Sears department store

Image source: Sears Holding.

So what

Yesterday, news broke that Sears was laying off another 220 people at its headquarters as the company looks for more ways to cut costs amid massive losses in its retail business and declining sales. The retailer said the job cuts were part of a restructuring plan that intended to cut $1.25 billion in annual costs. 

Today, the company followed that up by disclosing another $210 million in borrowings over the last month from entities owned by CEO Eddie Lampert. Those loans follow a debt restructuring plan and more borrowings in January. The report seems to indicate that Sears continues to bleed cash, as the company said that comparable sales at both Sears and KMart locations fell by double digits during the holiday season.

Now what

With another round of job cuts and borrowings, this is just more of the same for Sears; the company also announced last month that it would close 103 stores. Today's news seems to be just one more small step toward what looks like the company's inevitable demise as customers are fleeing stores and the company is racking up hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses.

The largesse of Lampert and his investment fund has kept the company afloat so Sears stores could stay open as long as he's willing to fund them, but the numbers are only likely to get worse since the company failed to take advantage of the best holiday season in years for retailers. Expect a further financial downfall when Sears reports fourth-quarter earnings in March.


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