The Annual Report: Sears Holding Corporation

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Sears Holding Corporation is a publicly traded company, which is the parent to such brands as Sears, Kenmore, Kmart, Land’s End and Die Hard (Sears Holdings Corporation, 2011). I selected Sears for this paper because it is a large U.S. based retailer, and I wanted to analyze communications from a company that may have had a difficult year. Any publicly traded company that either misses Wall Street analysts’ expectations, the company’s own publicized guidance, or has a drop in year over year performance is going to have to take an extra effort in their communications regarding annual results. According to Sear’s recently submitted 10-k report found on EDGAR, the company had a decline in both operating income and revenue from 2009 (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 2011). Sears Holding Corporation is still a successful business, but it has had enough of a financial performance decline to be a candidate for my analysis.

A company's annual report is the single most important way for it to convey itself to potential investors. As such, it should come as no surprise that an annual report serves to present the company in best light possible (Gad, 2011). There are two types of “annual reports” that a company may issue but only the 10-k is mandatory. The 10-k report is required by the Securities Exchange Commission, and has specific format and data that must be followed. It’s in black and white and contains very in-depth financial schedules, company history, potential risks, and auditor’s opinion. An annual report is the shorter version that often comes with pictures, nice glossy color pages, a letter from the Chairman/CEO and an overview of the financials (Gad, 2011). Sears Holding Corporation issues only a 10-k report a...

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...L. (2011, January 07). Chairmen told to stop

'sugar-coating' annual reports. The Telegraph, Retrieved from

Gad, S. (2011). How to efficiently read an annual report. Retrieved from

Hynes, G.E. (2011). Managerial Communications Strategies and Applications (5th ed.).

New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Sears Holdings Corporation, Initials. (2011, February 24).

Investor information. Retrieved from

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. (2011). Form 10-K, Sears Holding

Corporation. Retrieved March 10, 2011. From
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