Sears recorded its fourth straight year of falling profit and revenue, though cost cutting and store closures narrowed those declines in the fourth-quarter.

Sears recorded its fourth straight year of falling profit and revenue, though cost cutting and store closures narrowed those declines in the fourth-quarter.

CEO and Chairman Edward Lampert combined Sears and Kmart in 2005, about two years after he helped bring Kmart out of bankruptcy. But the retail landscape has undergone seismic shifts in recent years and the tie-up hasn't gelled.

Sears lost $159 million, or $1.50 per share, for the period ended Jan. 31. A year earlier it lost $358 million, or $3.37 per share.

Revenue declined to $8.1 billion from $10.59 billion after the sale of most of stake in its Canadian unit, the spinoff of Lands' End, and the closure of more Kmart and Sears stores. That helped to trim costs and expenses to $8.23 billion, from $10.73 billion last year.

The company's plans to form a real estate investment trust are moving forward and it expects it to create and separate that company May or June. It anticipates between 200 and 300 Sears and Kmart stores being sold to the REIT, with proceeds estimated to be more than $2 billion.

Sears Holdings Corp., based in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, has more than 1,700 Sears and Kmart stores. It had a 3,523 stores just five years ago.

For the year, Sears' loss widened to $1.68 billion, or $15.82 per share, from a loss of $1.37 billion, or $12.87 per share, in the prior year. Revenue fell to $31.2 billion from $36.19 billion.