Sears Shares Now Worth Less Than $1

Shares of Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD) fell to an all-time low of $0.92 per share, marking the first time in the company’s history that its stock has fallen below $1. The department store chain’s shares have fallen more than 85 percent over the past 12 months and is far from its all-time high of $195.18, reached in April 2007. The retailer’s market cap is now less than $110 million.

There is now a risk that Sears’ stock could be delisted. Its shares are traded on the Nasdaq, which has a $1 bid price requirement for shares. Once a company’s stock trades below that threshold for 30 days consecutively, the clock starts ticking towards a delisting. That would happen next year at the earliest.

The department store chain is running out of time to stay afloat. Sears has a large debt payment coming due next month. Its sales continue to tumble at a double-digit percentage rate. It has lost $11.7 billion since 2010, its last profitable year. It is also struggling with its heavy pension liabilities.

Sears was once not only the nation’s largest retailer, but also its largest employer. Many Americans bought mass-produced goods for the first time through the Sears catalog and its labor-saving appliances were used in many American homes. Unfortunately, the company was unable to adapt to a changing retail industry fast enough to keep up. In 1999, Sears was removed from the Dow Jones industrial average, where it had been for 75 years.

CEO Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, has proposed a restructuring of the company in order to avoid bankruptcy. In recent years, the company has been selling off assets to come up with cash. It now has fewer than 900 stores, down from a combined 3,500 US stores when Sears and Kmart merged in 2005. Just last month, Sears announced it would be closing another 46 stores across the US in November.

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