JC Penney is tumbling as guidance disappoints and cold weather weighs on sales (JCP)

  • JCPenney reported disappointing first-quarter results ahead of Thursday's opening bell.

  • The company blamed cooler temperatures for its sales miss.

  • Shares fell more than 14% in pre-market trading.

  • Watch J.C. Penney trade in real-time here.

JCPenney plunged more than 14% in pre-market trading Thursday after reporting first-quarter earnings and guidance that missed Wall Street estimates.

The longer winter and late start to spring weighed on customer traffic. JCPenney reported comparable sales of 0.2%, missing the 2.1% estimate from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue came in below expectations at $2.58 billion versus the anticipated $2.61 billion. Its loss of an adjusted $0.22 a share matched estimates.

Management remained optimistic despite the disappointing results.

"Overall, we believe that our strategies are beginning to take hold, as we are seeing improvement in a number of areas," CEO Marvin Ellison said in a press release. "Apparel categories performed well during seasonable weather periods, and our beauty and home refresh initiatives performed well above our total comp sales performance for the quarter."

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JCPenney like other traditional department stores has been scrambling to survive what many are calling the "retail apocalypse." Amid the rise of internet competitors (think Amazon) and US mall closures, sales have dwindled for many legacy retailers. JCPenney has tried to combat the changing market environment by branching out to sell products other than just clothing. The company expanded to selling makeup, appliances and even toys in recent years in an attempt to win customers over.

The company's full year guidance was well shy of estimates. It sees anywhere from a $0.07 a share loss to a $0.13 a share gain. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting full year earnings-per-share of $0.18.

JCPenney was down almost 3% this year through Wednesday.


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