Why Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Shares Were Sheared


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores , a retailer of home appliances, lawn and garden, and other home accessories, dipped as much as 10% after reporting disappointing first-quarter results.

So what: For the quarter, Sears Hometown and Outlet reported a 3.2% decline in revenue, to $601.1 million, as operating income plummeted by 28%. The company blamed an exceptionally cooler winter for slowing sales of its lawn and garden segment, which drove its Hometown comparable-store sales down by a disappointing 6.9%. Sears Hometown and Outlet CEO Bruce Johnson noted that lawn and garden sales, which comprise its second-largest category, fell 45% in the first two months of the quarter.

Now what: It certainly appeared that the valuation on Sears Hometown and Outlet had gotten way ahead of itself, and today's disappointing results are merely proof in the pudding. I will say that this spin-off of Sears Holdings is a far smarter way to play the home appliance sector than by purchasing former parent Sears, but it'll rely heavily on strong economic growth and accommodative weather patterns to fuel its bottom line. With the prospect of higher taxes, and the sequester draining some optimism out of the U.S. economy, I don't see this stock doing much more than muddling along in the interim.

Craving more input? Start by adding Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores to your free and personalized Watchlist so you can keep up on the latest news with the company.

The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of last century. Only those most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about the 3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail in The Motley Fool's special report. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.

The article Why Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Shares Were Sheared originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.