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TROY, Mich. - Bankrupt retailer Kmart Corp. on Monday posted a second-quarter loss of $377 million, The Associated Press reports.
The company also said it had discovered accounting transactions that boosted its loss in 2001 and understated the amount the year before. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the discrepancies.
Kmart's net loss of $377 million for the quarter that ended July 31 was the same as the year-ago quarter. Its per-share loss was slightly less in the most recent quarter -- 75 cents compared with 77 cents in the second quarter of 2001.
Company executives said the focus continues to be on lifting sales, which have grown slower than anticipated.
Kmart president and COO Julian Day also said it wasn't certain when the company would emerge from bankruptcy. Officials initially pointed to the summer of 2003 as a target.
Kmart disclosed the new accounting discrepancies in its latest 10-Q report, filed with the SEC Monday. The company said the transactions overstated the net loss for fiscal 2001 by $78 million, while understating the loss in 2000 by $38 million.
CFO Al Koch said it didn't appear that restating financial statements for those periods would be required.
Excluding one-time charges, closed stores and reorganization items, the Troy-based discount chain reported a net loss of $333 million, or 66 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $304 million, or 62 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.
Net sales for the period were $7.52 billion, a decrease of 15.7 percent from $8.92 billion in 2001. As reported, Kmart closed 283 underperforming stores in the second quarter. Same-store sales were down 11 percent for the second quarter.
Ulysses A. Yannas, an analyst with Buckman, Buckman & Reid in New York, told reporters that he found at least one bright spot in Kmart's new numbers -- the company appears to be getting a better handle on operating costs. Yannas added that he'd like to see Kmart take another step to improve its finances -- exit the grocery business.
"First and foremost, this is one area where they can't compete even with a grocery store," he said. "The customer doesn't go to Kmart to buy groceries. It's a convenience, and it's a low-margin area," Yannas said.