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Earnings Roundup / J.c. Penney

Profit drops 51% but tops forecasts

February 21, 2009|Times Wire Reports

J.C. Penney Co. reported a 51% drop in fiscal fourth-quarter profit as customers sharply cut spending on clothing and other items. The results beat Wall Street expectations, but the chain projected a wider first-quarter loss than analysts had predicted.

The retailer earned $211 million, or 95 cents a share, for the three months ended Jan. 31. That compares with $430 million, or $1.93, a year earlier.

Sales declined almost 10% to $5.76 billion. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, fell 10.8%. Same-store sales are a key indicator because they measure growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the Plano, Texas-based company to earn 92 cents a share on revenue of $5.76 billion.

Penney said it expected a per-share loss of 20 cents to 30 cents in the first quarter. Analysts had expected a loss of 19 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.

Penney also said total sales would drop by 10% to 13% and that same-store sales would drop 12% to 15% in the first quarter.

Shares of Penney rose 18 cents to $15.10.

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