JC Penney tanks after a big miss on sales

JC Penney on Friday reported a smaller-than-expected loss in the first quarter, but sales that missed analysts' forecasts. Its shares fell by as much as 9% in volatile premarket trading.

The retailer reported an adjusted loss of $0.06 per share, smaller than the expectation for a loss of $0.21 according to Bloomberg.


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Net sales totaled $2.71 billion, missing the forecast for $2.77 billion. Comparable store sales, at locations open for at least one year, fell by 3.5% (-0.7% expected.)

CEO Marvin Ellison said in the earnings statement that the sales improvement from March to April was good enough to leave the outlook for the rest of the year unchanged.

"The recent sales trends, combined with the improvement in women's apparel and our growth initiatives led by Sephora inside JCPenney, jcp.com and major appliances, provide us with the confidence to maintain our sales guidance for the full year," Ellison said.

JC Penney's results cap a busy and mostly ugly week of earnings from brick-and-mortar retailers, who are grappling with the ecommerce boom. On Thursday, Macy's and Kohl's reported lower sales than expected.

More than 3,200 retail stores are expected to close this year.

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