JC Penney chops 2017 comp sales, profit forecast; shares drop


U.S. department store chain J.C. Penney Co Inc (NYSE:JCP) slashed its 2017 comparable sales and profit forecast on Friday as it overhauled its women's apparel department and sold off stagnant inventory by discounting heavily.

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The company's shares plunged 16 percent in premarket trading to $3.08, with the news pulling down shares of rivals Macy's Inc and Kohl's Corp as well.

Penney said it now expects full-year comparable sales to be flat at best, down from its previous forecast of sales to range between a drop of 1 percent and a rise of 1 percent.

The company said it would record an adjusted loss of 40-45 cents for the quarter ending Oct. 28 as it held clearance sales for women's and other apparel categories.

J.C. Penney cut its full-year forecast for adjusted earnings to 2 cents to 8 cents per share from 40 cents to 65 cents.

Department stores try to clear out leftover inventory ahead of the holiday-shopping quarter to stock up on fresh merchandise for the biggest selling season of the year.

Penney also said Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Davis would oversee the company's pricing and planning policies to improve its predictive analytics capabilities and get a better view of current sales trends. (Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Savio D'Souza)

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