J.C. Penney's Co. reported on Friday a fiscal third-quarter loss that narrowed to $137 million, or 45 cents a share, from $188 million, or 62 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus was for a per-share loss of 56 cents. Revenue rose 4.8% to $2.897 billion, just above the FactSet consensus of $2.884 billion. The stock slumped 5.6% in premarket trade. On Wednesday, the department store chain's stock had lost 1.8% after the company reported better-than-expected same-store sales and said earnings and gross margin were above forecasts, but also said it would make $50 million available as part of a settlement of a class action lawsuit. For fiscal 2015, the company expects same-store sales growth in the range of 4% to 5%, surrounding the FactSet consensus of 4.4%, and expects gross margin to improve by 100 to 150 basis points. The stock has soared 36% year to date through Thursday, while the S&P 500 has slipped 0.6%.
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