Sears Holdings Corp SHLD
Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 05/23/2013

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen and thank you for standing by and welcome to the Sears Holdings Corporation Fiscal 2013 First Quarter Webcast. 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 may be recorded.

Now it's my pleasure to turn the floor over to Bill Phelan. Sir, the floor is yours.

William K. Phelan - SVP, Finance: Thank you, operator. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Sears Holdings Earnings Call. I am Bill Phelan, Senior Vice President of Finance for Sears Holdings. Joining me today are Eddie Lampert, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Rob Schriesheim, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

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, in the presentation for today's call that is posted at the Investor Information section of 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 measures can be found in the presentation and today's press release. Any reference in our discussion today 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.

I would now like to turn the call over to our Chairman and CEO, Eddie Lampert.

Edward S. Lampert - Chairman and CEO: Thank you, Bill, and let me thank everybody for joining the call today. Our first quarter 2013 financial performance is not acceptable. A Company of our size and with our assets should be generating a significant profit. As an investor, I followed our industry very closely and have benchmarked our performance against our competitors.

During the first quarter of 2013, many of our competitors have noted certain macro factors that have impacted our industry, their businesses and our business. Colder weather in parts of the country, delayed tax refunds et cetera. Having said that, I do not subscribe to the view that the macro factors are the sole reason for our poor performance. They have an impact, but even with that impact, we should be doing a lot better than we are. Changing customer buying habits and changing forms of competition are challenging us and retail industry generally, and we must evolve our company and our business models to meet this challenge.

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