F&D Reports/Creditntell Publish Future Outlook Analysis Reports on Sears Holdings Corp. and Rite Aid Corp.

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Future Outlook Analysis reports take a closer look at the issues and provide objective insight into retailers' performance and, more importantly, the potential risks in the near and mid-term

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Our Future Outlook Analysis is the crystal ball that brings likely future events into present-day clarity... we know retail and are able to provide real actionable insights for your decision-making processes.

Industry-leading credit consulting firm Information Clearinghouse Inc. (ICI), through its divisions F&D Reports and Creditntell, are pleased to announce the release of two new forward-looking ''Future Outlook Analysis" reports on Sears Holdings Corp. and Rite Aid Corp. These comprehensive evaluations of the retailers’ 12-month forward-looking liquidity provide an unbiased perspective into operational hurdles, competition, asset base, debt requirements, future credit ratings, and payment trends, while offering three varying performance probability profiles and the consequences of each.

Since its merger with Kmart back in 2005, Sears Holdings Corp. has failed to provide a compelling retail strategy for either chain, while it has watched its market share and profitability plummet. Despite this, chairman Eddie Lampert has continued to pursue aggressive share repurchases which has increased his equity stake, directly or indirectly through his hedge fund, to about 60%. Meanwhile, the years of top-line erosion have caught up to the balance sheet, as the Company is now burning free cash flow. Will the Company’s latest strategies, including new e-commerce initiatives and licensing agreements for its flagship brands, be enough to offset the ongoing erosion of its brick & mortar business?

Rite Aid’s sales trends have improved in recent periods, but performance still trails that of competitors Walgreen Co. and CVS. Forced to focus on controlling costs and capital spending amidst the recession, Rite Aid’s current critical issues include: sales per square foot and profit margins significantly below its larger peers, a balance sheet that carries too much debt, and significant dark store rent for leases on stores previously closed. The Company has earmarked funds for store remodeling in 2012, but does it maintain adequate liquidity, particularly if sales should turn negative — and are these investments too little, too late?

ICI’s Future Outlook Analysis reports take a closer look at the issues and provide objective insight into each Company’s performance and, more importantly, the potential risks in the near and mid-term. Since first publishing these reports in 2007, ICI has proven highly accurate and effective in projecting future liquidity for specific retailers. Our 2010 Future Outlook Analysis on Borders Group, for example, projected that the Company would likely face a liquidity shortage within 12 months from the date of publication; this prediction came to fruition in February 2011 when the Company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Year to date, ICI has published Future Outlook Analysis reports on the following companies:

  •     Macy's, Inc.
  •     Office Depot, Inc.
  •     Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp.
  •     hhgregg, Inc.
  •     Dillard's, Inc.
  •     Conn's, Inc.
  •     Trans World Entertainment Corp.
  •     CDW Corporation
  •     HD Supply, Inc.

If you would like a copy of any of the above reports, please email foa(at)creditntell(dot)com. Additional reports to be published in 2011 include: Toys R Us, Bon-Ton and Barnes & Noble.

Commenting on these latest Future Outlook Analysis reports, Lawrence Sarf, CEO of ICI, stated, "Virtually every analytical model is reasonably effective in pinpointing the causes and effects of events that have already occurred; however, today’s top executives need to anticipate and function proactively. Our Future Outlook Analysis is the crystal ball that brings likely future events into present-day clarity. Our track record is well established — we know retail and are able to provide real actionable insights for your decision-making processes.”

Information Clearinghouse, Inc. (publisher of F&D Reports, Creditntell, & FDARMS) is a comprehensive retail credit consulting firm specializing in the analysis of public and private companies in numerous retail segments. The focus of its analysis is to deliver the key intelligence today's busy credit executive needs to make a highly informed decision without sifting through pages of non-essential data. F&D Reports and Creditntell actively monitor retailers such as Sears Holdings, Winn-Dixie, Kroger, Best Buy, Rite Aid, Bed Bath & Beyond, Toys "R" Us, BJ's Wholesale, Dick's Sporting Goods, Bon-Ton Stores, and Macy's. To learn more, visit our websites at http://www.fdreports.com, http://www.creditntell.com, http://www.fdarms.com.

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Mike Blackburn
F&D Reports
1-800-789-0123 131
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Dennis Cantalupo
Creditntell
1-800-789-0123 110
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