JCPenney Revenues Fall Short of Expectations, Management Slashes Outlook

J.C. Penney Co. Inc.’s shares were feeling the pressure in pre-market trading today after the company posted third-quarter sales that missed forecasts and slashed its full-year outlook.

The department store chain’s stock remained down more than 5 percent as of 9 a.m. ET.

JCPenney reported that it narrowed its Q3 net losses 42 percent year-over-year, to $67 million, or 22 cents per diluted share.  Losses, adjusted for restructuring costs, were 21 cents per share. Analysts expected losses per diluted share of 22 cents.

Revenues, however, slipped about 1.4 percent, to $2.86 billion, missing forecasts for revenues of $2.94 billion. Comparable store sales were also down 0.8 percent.

JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison said the company’s third-quarter performance was impacted by softness in apparel sales but noted that he expected some improvement across key categories during the holiday season.

“We are excited about the initiatives we have in place to drive incremental growth during the holiday season with our increased appliance penetration, new Sephora locations, free same-day pickup for online orders, a strong cadence of promotional events and our new lowest price guarantee,” Ellison said. “We are also thrilled about delivering a 200 basis point improvement in our private label credit card penetration in the third quarter, which led to our highest penetration in many years. These and other initiatives reinforce our confidence in our ability to achieve $1 billion in EBITDA for 2016.”

Despite Ellison’s bullish posturing, the firm lowered its full-year guidance for comparable store sales. JCPenney now expects comps to increase between 1 percent and 2 percent. Earnings expectations remain unchanged.

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