http://www.morningstar.com/earnings/35712269-sears-holdings-corporation-shld-q4-2011.aspx

Sears Holdings Corporation SHLD
Q4 2011 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/23/2012

Operator: Good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Sears Holdings Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Bill Phelan, Senior Vice President of Finance. Please go ahead.

William K. Phelan - SVP, Finance: Thank you, operator. Good morning and welcome to Sears Holdings Earnings Call. I am Bill Phelan, the Senior Vice President of Finance for Sears Holdings. Joining me today are Lou D'Ambrosio, our Chief Executive Officer; Rob Schriesheim, our Chief Financial Officer; and Ron Boire, our Chief Merchant and President of the Sears and Kmart Formats.

For our call today, you may follow along with the slides that are shown. Slides will be automatically advanced during the discussion and will be posted to our website after today's call.

Before we begin, I would like to remind you that today's discussion will contain forward-looking statements related to future events and expectations. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. You can find factors that could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially listed in today's press release and the presentation for today's call that is posted at the Investor Information section of searsholdings.com and in our most recent SEC filings.

In addition, our discussion will include certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure can be found in today's press release. Any reference in our discussion to EBITDA means adjusted EBITDA as defined in the press release and presentation. Finally, we assume no obligation to update the information presented on this call except as required by law.

Now, I would like to turn the call over to Lou.

Louis J. D'Ambrosio - CEO and President: Thanks, Bill and thank you all joining us today. I know we haven't typically held earnings call, but we thought it was important to provide you more detail on a number of extraordinary items we are recording this quarter, and importantly, to make our funding strategy clear. The takeaway is that the Company's significant assets and liquidity as well as the actions we are taking which we will describe today make our results and earnings issues rather than an asset or liquidity one.

Today, we'll discuss our financial performance, our funding strategy and specific actions we are taking to further strengthen the balance sheet and operations. Additionally, I will preview the strategic agenda for Sears Holdings, which will guide our actions going forward. We will cover this in more detail at our Annual Meeting on May 2nd.

So, let's get right into it. Our fourth quarter earnings were unacceptable, we know that and are taking immediate actions to address it in three areas.

First, actions to improve our financial performance including cost reductions, actions to improve inventory productivity, actions to improve margins, honed and targeted marketing and new talent to strengthen our merchandising and leadership team.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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