JCPenney Stock Plummets as Q2 Losses Widen

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Shares for J.C. Penney Co. Inc. are taking a significant hit today after the retailer said it widened its second-quarter losses, while its comparable sales slid 1.3 percent. As of 10:20 a.m. ET, the stock remained down nearly 17 percent at $3.80.

JCPenney — which shouldered the same sectorwide consumer challenges as much of its peers in recent months — posted a net loss of $62 million, or 20 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $56 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, net losses were $28 million, or 9 cents per diluted share, which was worse than Wall Street’s expectations for a net loss of 5 cents per share.

Revenues fared better — gaining 1.5 percent year-over-year to $3 billion and topping forecasts for sales of $2.8 billion.

Chairman and CEO Marvin Ellison said the firm’s improved sales during the quarter were driven by gains across multiple categories, including footwear.

“I’m pleased to report that nearly all categories of our business are improved sales from Q1 to Q2,” he told investors during a conference call. “Our growth initiatives of Home and Beauty, which consist of Fine Jewelry, Salon and Sephora, delivered positive sales in the quarter. We’re also pleased we are able to deliver positive comps in shoes and handbags for the second quarter.”

JCPenney’s report today follows better-than-expected results from peers Kohl’s Corp., Macy’s Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. this week, which some experts said offered up moderate hope that struggling department stores were starting to come around.

Still, investors had aggressively sold off Macy’s and Kohl’s shares on the heels of their earnings releases, signaling that stakeholders are growing impatient with the D-store turnaround process.

JCPenney reaffirmed its earnings and revenues outlook for fiscal year 2017.

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