Although analyst sentiment has improved somewhat, Sears will likely swing to a loss after posting an adjusted profit of $429 million in 2012's fourth quarter, a result that interrupted three-straight quarterly losses. The mean prediction this time around is a loss of $0.60 per share, compared to 90 days ago when the estimated loss was 18 cents wider.
Analysts also predict revenue will fall 9.7 per cent from the first quarter of last year to $8.37 billion.
"There's more work to be done in 2013," said chairman and chief executive officer Edward Lampert in February's financial statement.
Sears' northern counterpart, Sears Canada (TSE:SCC), a separate entity of which Sears Holdings has retained a 51 per cent stake, reported a $31-million loss on Wednesday as Target's (NYSE:TGT) emergence continues to bully Canadian retailers.
After April's 0.1 per cent rise in U.S. retail sales surprised analysts, investors could perhaps pay more attention to what's ahead, as Sears integrates more technology into its stores to help get products to consumers. They've been optimistic so far this year, sending shares up nearly 40 per cent.
Elsewhere on the earnings watch, a trio of clothing retailers are on deck: The Gap (NYSE: GPS) and Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO) are reporting after market close and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) releases results tomorrow.
Analysts are expecting a $0.69 per share profit from Gap, versus $0.47 per share from the same period a year ago. Analysts predict revenue will rise 5.5 per cent to $3.68 billion.
Meanwhile, the mean consensus for Aeropostale is a $0.17 loss, compared to a $0.13 profit a year ago. Revenue is expected to shrink 10.7 per cent to $444.3 million.
Analysts forecast Abercrombie & Fitch will report a $0.05 per share loss on $941.7 million in revenue.
Earlier today, Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL) said its fiscal fourth quarter profit rose to $127.2 million or $1.37 per share from $94.4 million, or $0.99 cents per share in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings of $1.41 per share beat the street by 11 cents. Revenue rose to $1.6 billion versus the $1.7 billion mean forecast. The stock had fallen nearly 2.5 per cent to $183.46 this afternoon.