The Daily Parker

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Quantifying Eddie Lampert's destruction

Yes, I've posted a few things about the killing of Sears lately, because Eddie Lampert's investor call the other day was a train-wreck.

Well, Crain's has attempted to tote up the damage, and it turns out Lampert has reduced the value of Sears stock by over 90%—not counting the dead spin-offs:

Since he combined Sears Roebuck with Kmart in March 2005, Sears Holdings stock has lost roughly 90 percent of its value, dropping to an all-time low of $11.53 a share yesterday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index has risen 75 percent over that same span.

But Sears Holdings doesn't tell the whole story. Since 2011, Lampert has carved out five investment vehicles from Sears. He spun off department store chain Sears Canada, hardware retailer Orchard Supply, hard-goods chain Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores, apparel company Lands' End and real estate investment trust Seritage Growth Properties. In some cases, Sears gave shares in the new company to shareholders in a direct spinoff; in others the shareholders got rights to buy stock in the newly independent company.

The total value of all these transactions to various shareholders depends on several variables, including when they bought into Sears, how many Sears shares they owned at the time of each spinoff, whether they exercised all subscription rights and how many shares of each company they still hold. But one thing is clear: Investors who stuck with Sears throughout Lampert's tenure would have done better with an S&P 500 Index Fund.

Yeah. How he's remained CEO of Sears boggles the mind.

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