A woman checks her phone outside the entrance of a J.C. Penney store in New York August 14, 2013.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

A woman checks her phone outside the entrance of a J.C. Penney store in New York August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo (Copyright Reuters 2016)

J.C. Penney's quarterly comparable sales fall 0.8 percent

Features Reuters

J.C. Penney Co Inc reported a 0.8 percent fall in quarterly comparable store sales on Friday, reflecting weak store traffic, increased price competition from online and off-price retailers and a general shift away from spending on apparel.

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Analysts on average had expected Penney's same-store sales to increase 2.7 percent in the quarter, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

Penney's net loss narrowed to $67 million, or 22 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Oct. 29, compared with a loss of $115 million, or 38 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the retailer lost 21 cents per share.

Net sales fell 1.4 percent to $2.86 billion.

The company's shares were down 9.3 percent at $7.99 in premarket trading.

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(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)