JC Penney is closing up to 140 stores to 'effectively compete against the growing threat of online retailers'

JC Penney reported stronger than expected results for the fourth quarter on Friday and announced plans to shut down a large number of stores in 2017.

The retailer reported adjusted earnings per share for the quarter of $0.64, higher than analysts' expectations of $0.60 per share. Revenue came just barely below expectations at $3.96 billion against analysts' projections of $3.98 billion.

Comparable-store sales also missed slightly for the quarter, falling 0.7% from the same quarter last year. Analysts expected a drop of just 0.5%.

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