J.C. Penney Boosts Comps, Narrows Q3 Loss

Sales in the home department helped J.C. Penney Co. beat a Wall Street earnings estimate for the third quarter. The retailer announced that it suffered a net loss of $137 million, or 45 cents per share, for the third quarter ended October 31, versus a net loss of $188 million, or 62 cents per share, in the year-prior quarter.

J.C. Penney beat a Thomson Reuter’s analyst average estimate by eight cents.

Comparable store sales gained 6.4% in the quarter year over year, the retailer stated. Net sales were $2.90 billion versus $2.76 billion in the 2014 quarter. Operating income came in as a loss of $45 million versus a loss of $54 million in last year’s period.

J.C. Penney reported that all merchandise divisions had positive comp sales gains over last year’s quarter. Home, men’s, footwear, handbags and Sephora were among the best performing departments. In terms of geography, all regions experienced sales growth year over year, with the biggest advances coming in southern and western sections, the company noted.

Marvin Ellison, J.C. Penney CEO, stated, “The continuation of our strong sales performance this quarter demonstrates ongoing progress towards achieving the company’s long-term financial targets. We grew the top line, improved margin and intensified our expense discipline. As we look ahead to the fourth quarter, we are well positioned to compete effectively during the key holiday shopping period thanks to the hard work and dedication of all our associates.”

J.C. Penney currently operates 1,020 stores.