NEW YORK — J. C. Penney Co. said Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings rose 47.6% as the company continued to shift its emphasis from general to fashion retailing.
Penney also said it had agreed to sell its Belgian operations to GB-INNO-BM, Belgium's largest retailer. Penney did not disclose a price, but said it would incur an after-tax loss of about $16 million on the deal that would be recorded when completed.
Penney said the emphasis on apparel retailing boosted its third-quarter earnings to $171 million from $116 million last year.
The company's third-quarter sales totaled $3.76 billion, up 7.8%.
Jeffrey B. Edelman, a retail industry analyst with the investment firm Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., said of Penney's results, "basically, it was a very good quarter." He attributed the company's performance to favorable sales of higher margin apparel items and Penney's "tight control of expenses."
Dayton Hudson Corp. reported that its quarterly earnings fell nearly 37%, while Federated Department Stores Co. recorded a 20% increase.
Dayton Hudson said its third-quarter earnings slipped to $33.6 million from $53.1 million a year ago. The 1986 figure does not take into account a one-time charge of $19.7 million for debt redemption.