J.C. Penney Shares Tumble After Weak Sales Fall Short Of Estimates

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. shares slid 12% in premarket trade Friday, after the company missed quarterly sales estimates as same-store sales fell way below expectations. The retailer said it had a net loss of $68 million, or 22 cents a share, in the first quarter, narrower than the loss of $150 million, or 49 cents a share, posted in the year-earlier period. Sales edged down to $2.81 billion from $2.86 billion. The FactSet consensus was for a loss per share of 38 cents and sales of $2.92 billion. Same-store sales fell 0.4%, well below the FactSet consensus for a gain of 3.2%. "While our first quarter sales were below our expectations, we are maintaining our annual comp guidance of 3% to 4% as a result of the positive nature of our recent sales trends, the strength of our Sephora business and our decision to accelerate our appliance rollout," Chief Executive Marvin Ellison said in a statement. But the company lowered its full-year margin outlook due to the rollout of appliances and rapid growth of its online business. Shares are up 17% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained about 1%.

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