J.C. Penney Posts Black Bottom Line in Third Quarter
PLANO, Texas-Taking itself by surprise, J.C. Penney posted net income of $27 million in the third quarter--after forecasting a possible net loss for the quarter.
While the bottom-line total was down 78 percent from last year's third quarter, the retailer said in a statement that the quarterly results were "significantly better than initial expectations." Net sales slipped 3.2 percent to $4.2 billion (including a same-store sales drop of 4.6 percent), and total operating expenses increased by nearly 13 percent. But gross margin rose by 1.9 percent, and the company posted fair-sized reductions in smaller expense items such as pre-opening, supplemental pension plans and income taxes.
For the fourth quarter, J.C. Penney said net sales will probably fall 3-5 percent, and comparable-store sales will probably decline by from 4 to 6 percent. For the full year, the retailer's management now expects same-store sales to decline by 6.5 to 7 percent, somewhat better than its previous forecast of a comp-store falloff of from 7 to 7.5 percent.