Penney again says sales trends are improving


J.C. Penney Co Inc told investors for the third time in less than five weeks that sales trends are improving and reaffirmed its forecast calling for positive comparable-store sales results coming out of the third quarter.

The comments by Penney CEO Myron Ullman at a conference on Monday boosted the department store chain's shares by 6 percent.

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Penney has been struggling to revive sales after a failed experiment in 2012 to go upmarket alienated long-time shoppers and depleted its cash reserves. It incurred huge losses and spent large amounts of money on store remodels.

"I told lenders it would be one thing if we had two things wrong and they couldn't be fixed. We have 30 things wrong and they can all be fixed," Ullman said on Monday morning.

Ullman also stressed that the morale among employees "is better than it probably should be."

(This version of the story corrects the first paragraph to show the timing of positive same-store sales results.)

(Reporting By Olivia Oran; Writing by Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Leslie Gevirtz)