Restate Sears' Earnings? That's `Ludicrous'

The allegation that Sears, Roebuck & Co. may have to restate earnings for previous years is ludicrous ("Put the comeback on my card," Finance, Nov. 10). Anyone with a knowledge of financial-accounting and securities regulations would know that no conditions are present that would require Sears to restate its financial results, and we consider the article's inference to be highly irresponsible.

James A. Blanda

Vice-President and Controller

Sears, Roebuck & Co.

Hoffman Estates, Ill.

I wish to set the record straight on a statement attributed to me. You stated that I now believed "that Sears' credit-card problems may be so serious that the company may have to restate the last three or four years' earnings." I never made any such statement, and the idea of the company's having to restate earnings is preposterous.

There is no way of knowing how much of Sears' very impressive turnaround in recent years could possibly be due to credit promotional efforts. Hence there is no way that earnings could be restated to match credit losses to sales even if generally accepted accounting principles called for it, which they don't.

Maggie Gilliam


Gilliam & Co.

New York

Editor's note: Our reporter's notes contain the assertion attributed to Gilliam.