JCPenney Reports Big Loss

JCPenney Company Inc. (NYSE: JCP) reported third-quarter 2012 results this morning. The retailer posted a net loss of $0.93 per share on revenues of $2.93 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $0.18 on revenues of $3.99 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for a net loss of $0.07 per share and $3.27 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, JCPenney posted a net loss of $0.56 per share for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $0.67 per share in the third quarter of 2011.

The company's chairman said:

While the quarter overall was challenging, the performance of jcp's new brands and shops reinforces our conviction to transform jcpenney into a specialty department store. … [T]he new jcp, centered around the shop concept, is gaining traction with customers every day and is surpassing our own expectations in terms of sales productivity which continues to give us confidence in our long term business model.

Same-store sales fell 26.1% year-over-year and total sales fell 26.6%. And the crusher: "Internet sales … were $214 million in the third quarter, decreasing 37.3 percent from last year." Virtually every other successful retailer is gaining Internet sales, even in the face of stiff competition from Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN).

Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M), which reported earnings on Wednesday, said sales at its two online sites, and, are up 40.4% and 36.8%, respectively, year-to-date, and that online sales boosted same-store sales by 2.2% in the third quarter. Amazon is tough competition, but some retailers have found ways to compete successfully with the Internet behemoth.

JCPenney did not offer guidance in its earnings release, but the consensus estimate for the fourth quarter calls for EPS of $0.86 on revenues of $4.73 billion. For the full year, the EPS estimate is $0.14 on revenues of $14.18 billion.

The company's shares are down more than 11% in premarket trading this morning, at $19.20 in a 52-week range of $19.06 to $43.18. The consensus target price for the shares was around $26.70 before today's report.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Retail Tagged: AMZN, JCP, M