J.C. Penney Goes Red

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J.C. Penney (NYS: JCP) reported earnings on Feb. 24. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Jan. 28 (Q4), J.C. Penney met expectations on revenues and whiffed on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue shrank and GAAP earnings per share contracted to a loss.

Margins shrank across the board.

Revenue details
J.C. Penney chalked up revenue of $5.43 billion. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected to see a top line of $5.50 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 4.9% lower than the prior-year quarter's $5.70 billion.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.15. The 13 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ forecast $0.67 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS were -$0.41 for Q4 versus $1.14 per share for the prior-year quarter.

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Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 30.2%, 740 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 1.5%, 650 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was -1.6%, 640 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $3.73 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.26.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $17.00 billion. The average EPS estimate is $1.74.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a one-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 563 members out of 795 rating the stock outperform, and 232 members rating it underperform. Among 213 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 156 give J.C. Penney a green thumbs-up, and 57 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on J.C. Penney is hold, with an average price target of $38.86.

If you're invested in retailers like J.C. Penney, you should check out the concept that is The Motley Fool's top stock for 2012. Its founder wrote the book on big-box retailing, and it's growing in increasingly important international markets. Click here for instant access to this free report.

At the time this article was published Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor ofMotley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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