Reuters

(Reuters)

J.C. Penney Sales Increase on Higher Demand for Apparel, Jewelry

Earnings Reuters

Department store chain J.C. Penney Co Inc (JCP) reported a lower-than-expected quarterly adjusted profit as it discounted more during the holiday season and invested in store expansions.

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The company's shares fell as much as 9.2 percent to $8.28 in extended trading on Thursday. The stock has gained 53 percent in the past year.

J.C. Penney posted a loss of $59 million, or 19 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with a profit of $35 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier. The year-earlier results included a one-time tax gain of $270 million.

Excluding items, J.C. Penney's earnings broke even on a per share basis, compared with the average analyst estimate of a profit of 11 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, whose rivals include Sears Holdings Corp and Macy's Inc, said comparable sales at stores open more than a year rose 4.4 percent in the holiday quarter. Analysts had estimated a rise of 3.8 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

The Plano, Texas-based company said it expected same-store sales to grow 3-5 percent in the current quarter ended May, compared with market estimates for 3 percent growth.

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Total net sales rose 3 percent to $3.89 billion, helped by higher demand for household goods, apparel and jewelry during the holiday shopping season.

Analysts on average had expected sales of $3.87 billion.

(Reporting by Nathan Layne in Chicago and Nayan Das in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)