However, we do have some good information to ponder. Third-quarter revenues declined $0.3 billion to $11.9 billion, largely driven by higher competition and lower transaction volumes. Profits were up to $196 million versus $58 million last year, helped considerably by the aforementioned $101 million swaps deal. Particular areas of softness were home goods and food and consumables at Kmart, and lawn and garden at Sears. Of course, Home Depot
I think it is safe to say that the retail side of Sears continued to underperform, but frankly, this has to be one of the largest turnarounds in retail ever attempted, with massive cultural and operational issues to resolve. I'm willing to give the company a few years to right the ship.
Perhaps most entertaining for Wall Street and shareholders is the guessing game about what Eddie Lampert will do next. Will he purchase a stake in Anheuser-Busch
With that in mind, I wouldn't be surprised to see more investment-related gains (or losses) pop up more consistently quarter after quarter, as it has been some time since his last swaps trade in mid-2005, which resulted in a $60 million gain. Would this benefit shareholders? Most assuredly.
For more Lampert Foolishness:
Fool contributor Stephen Ellis does not own shares in any companies mentioned. You can view the stocks he owns and check out his 99th-percentile ranking in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's new stock-rating community. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.