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J. C. Penney Q3 Loss Wider Than Estimates, But Comps Up; Stock Surges


J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) reported Friday a wider year-over-year net loss for the third quarter of 2017, hurt by increased cost of goods sold, restructuring charges associated with the store closures and a charge related to settlement accounting on the Company's pension plan. But, comparable sales increased 1.7 % for the third quarter, resulting in a positive two-year stack of 0.9%.

Total net sales for the quarter decreased by 1.8 %, primarily the result of the 139 stores closed this year through the end of the third quarter.

Quarterly loss was wider than analysts' expectations, but total net sales beat their estimates.

In the pre-market trade, JCP is trading at $3.13, up $0.36 or 13.00 percent.

MarvinEllison, chairman and chief executive officer said, "During the third quarter, we took aggressive actions to clear slow-moving inventory, primarily allowing for an improved apparel assortment heading in to the Holiday season. While these actions had a negative short-term impact on profitability in the third quarter, we firmly believe it was the right decision for the Company as we transition into the fourth quarter and fiscal 2018."

Looking ahead for fiscal 2017, the company now expects adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $0.02 to $0.08; and Comparable store sales of down 1.0 percent to flat. Analysts expect annual earnings of $0.43 per share. The company said in August that it expected adjusted earnings to be in a range of $0.40 to $0.65 per share; comparable store sales in a range of down 1 percent to up 1 percent for fiscal 2017.

Net loss for its fiscal third quarter ended October 28, 2017 widened to $128 million, or $0.41 per share, from $67 million, or $0.22 per share in the same period last year.

Adjusted net loss for the third quarter this year was $102 million, or $0.33 per share, compared to an adjusted net loss of $65 million, or $0.21 per share, last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.17 per share for the third-quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total net sales decreased 1.8 % to $2.81 billion from $2.86 billion in the same period last year. Wall Street expected revenues of $2.74 billion for the third-quarter.

Inventory at the end of the third quarter 2017 was $3.37 billion, a decrease of 8.8 % compared to the end of the third quarter last year, and down 5.7% on a comp store basis.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the third quarter were $185 million. The Company ended the quarter with liquidity of approximately $2.0 billion.

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