UPDATE 2-Sears sees Q4 profit well above Street; shares soar

Thu Jan 7, 2010 8:54am EST

* Sees Q4 EPS $3.36 to $4.06

* Dec same-store sales up 0.4 pct, Kmart up 5.3 pct

* Shares up 15 pct pre-mkt (Recasts, updates share movement)

Jan 7 (Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD.O) forecast fourth-quarter earnings well above Wall Street expectations, sending its shares up 15 percent in pre-market trade.

The company also reported a slight increase in December same-store sales, driven by its Kmart discount stores.

The operator of Sears department stores said it expects to earn $385 million to $465 million, or $3.36 to $4.06 a share, excluding items, for the fourth quarter ending Jan. 30.

Analysts on average were expecting Sears to earn $2.65 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

For December, Kmart same-store sales rose 5.3 percent, while total comparable sales grew 0.4 percent.

Better sales of toys and home and apparel goods helped Kmart comparable sales for the month, as did its footwear business.

In January last year, Kmart took back its shoe operations from Footstar, which operated within the discount chain's stores but used its own inventory and staff.

Sears shares were up at $102.01, after closing at $88.87 Wednesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri, Vinu Pilakkott)

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