J.C. Penney 1Q Loss Wider Than Expected; Sales Disappoint

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Published May 16, 2013

| FOXBusiness

J.C. Penney (JCP) reported a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss and disappointing sales late Thursday, while its cash slumped from a year ago despite significant lending efforts designed to help fund its aggressive overhaul.

The Plano, Texas-based department store chain reported a net loss of $348 million, or $1.58 a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $163 million, or 75 cents a share.

Excluding one-time items, Penney said it lost $1.31, far below the 89-cent a share loss analysts had been predicting in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three-month period fell 16.4% to $2.64 billion from $3.15 billion, missing the Street’s view of $2.74 billion. Same-store sales, a key growth metric, fell 16.6%.

Cash and cash equivalents last quarter were $821 million, a decrease of $18 million over the year-earlier period. Total debt was slightly more than the company had reported on May 7, 2013, totaling $3.83 billion.

Penney last month revealed a $1.75 billion finance package from Goldman Sachs (GS) that further paved the way for the ailing retailer to shore up its finances and move forward with its aggressive turnaround plan.

It also withdrew $850 million in cash from its $1.85 billion revolving credit facility in April, an effort to help stem a decline in sales that was blamed for a $1 billion loss last fiscal year.

Penney earlier this year re-hired former chief Mike Ullman to replace Ron Johnson as CEO after his failed “no sales” strategy.

“Our objective is to put jcpenney back on a path to profitable growth,” Ullman said. “To achieve this, over the past five weeks we have taken critical steps to stabilize the business, including improving our balance sheet and ensuring we have our senior leadership in place.”

Shares of Penney slipped more than 3% after hours.

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