Retailer JC Penney warns of softer sales in September; shares fall

MarketsAssociated Press

Shares of J.C. Penney Co. fell nearly 10 percent after the department store operator warned that its sales last month were weaker than expected.

The Plano, Texas-based company has been trying to recover from a botched transformation plan by former CEO Ron Johnson that resulted in large losses and plunging sales. It has showed some encouraging signs, with sales rising 6 percent at established locations during the second quarter.

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But J.C. Penney says sales were softer than expected in September. It now expects a key sales measure to be in the low-single digit range for the third quarter, down from its previous forecast of mid-single digit growth. It kept its third-quarter and full-year earnings guidance unchanged.

J.C. Penney shares fell 88 cents, or 9.6 percent, to $8.31 in afternoon trading.