JC Penney keeps 4th-quarter forecast but shares fall

Department store chain J.C. Penney Co Inc reaffirmed its forecast for a rise in comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter after what it described as a pleasing performance over the holiday period.

However, the retailer did not release sales figures for the holiday period and its shares fell 8.5 percent to $7.50 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

J.C. Penney said in November it expected comparable-store sales to improve in the fourth quarter ending in the first week of February but provided no numbers.

"Customers responded well to the company's offerings this holiday shopping season, both in store and online," J.C. Penney said on Wednesday.

Retail industry tracker ShopperTrak said U.S. holiday season sales rose 2.7 percent despite a cold snap that led to a 14.6 percent drop in the number of people walking into stores.

J.C. Penney has already reported a 10.1 percent gain in November comparable-store sales.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Don Sebastian)