Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD), RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH), and J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) have slaughtered investors’ returns this past year, with an average retreat from their 52-week highs of over 30% while the market continues to climb. What should investors do?
Over the past 12 months, consumer-discretionary stocks have been the second- best performers in the S&P 500, with a return rate of 36.4%, trailing financial stocks by just 9% in the same time frame. The argument that discount stores are marketing to a segment of our economic population that has ever-decreasing discretionary income to spend is moot, as companies like Dollar General and Target have returned capital and market-share gains to investors.
What to do if you own these retailers
Lackluster sales have contributed to the poor performance of Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD)’ stock over the past year. The company continues to average a loss of 3.8% year-over-year in revenue (FY 2010 through and including FY 2012). With over $39 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2012, Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) cannot hold on to the money, passing along a loss of $13.20 in diluted earnings per share to investors. Looking forward, the average analyst expectation for revenue losses is an average of 2.6%, year-over-year.
|Fiscal Year||Revenue||Diluted EPS|
|2013-12 mths. Feb-02-13||$39.854 billion||-$8.78|
|2014 (estimate)||$37.153 billion||-$4.57|
|2015 (estimate)||$36.831 billion||-$2.32|
|2016 (estimate)||$36.638 billion||-$3.75|
Source: S&P Capital IQ
It should not take long to consider the falling revenue isn’t going to stop anytime soon, and shareholders will not be relieved of the bleeding anytime soon.
Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD)’ answer to investor woes is even worse than its revenue performance. According to the Wall Street Journal, Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) is considering putting high-end products for sale on its website to gain a commission-only revenue share on products sold. Some of the items include Chanel purses, Rolex watches, and Jimmy Choo shoes.
Whether or not this is a marketing ploy by the Chief Executive Officer, Edward Lampert, the move is laughable. Rather than focus on the original core of the business and its “softer side” –which, by the way, brought Sears out from the brink in early 2000’s—it would rather compete against online retailers that have solidified their market share.
Action to take
Unless Sears Holdings Corp (NASDAQ:SHLD) is able to turn itself around by focusing on what made Sears, Sears, in the first place, investors will sink along with the company. But that begs the question: Who is buying this stock now? One may argue, “Sears trades at 0.2 times revenue.” My answer: “Who cares if the revenue cannot trickle down to its bottom line?” Sears is a definite sell and should not be considered for investment in the near future, unless Mr. Lampert decides to take this company private, or better yet, sell it. Even then, shareholders will more than likely walk away with less than they put in.
RadioShack’s signal is waning.
The stock has plummeted roughly 90% over the past three years and the company’s second-quarter’s release just exemplified how much this electronics retailer is in trouble. According to its latest 10-Q, RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) had decreased operating revenue and net sales of $4.1 million compared with the same period last year. RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) attributed to its lower sales volume to aggressive discounts, clearance events, and customer coupons. The losses from continuing operations widened by over $30 million for the period six months ended June 30 compared with the same period last year.
According to Emily Glazer of the Wall Street Journal: “RadioShack Corporation (NYSE:RSH) doesn’t have a clear strategy for its finances…” This is incredible for a company that has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars on trying to turn itself around.