J.C. Penney (JCP) Earns More than Expected in Q4, Sales Soft

February 24, 2012 8:35 AM EST
J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) shares are moving very modestly higher Friday morning following the retailer's fourth-quarter earnings report which showed light revs but a bottom line beat.

Revenue in the quarter fell 4.9 percent from $5.703 billion in the same period last year to $5.425 billion. Same-store sales slipped 1.8 percent over the three-month period. Internet sales fell 3.1 percent to $480 million.

J.C. Penney reported a net loss of $87 million, or 41 cents per share, from profit of $271 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. After adjusting for restructuring costs and pension plan expenses, J.C. Penney reported net income of $103 million, or 74 cents per share.

Analysts on the Street were looking for quarterly sales of $5.50 billion and EPS of 68 cents.

Gross margin dropped 7.4 points to 30.2 percent, reflecting lower sales and J.C. Penney converting to its new pricing and promotion strategy.

J.C. Penney's cash and cash equivalents moved from $2.622 billion last year's fourth quarter to $1.332 billion, with much of the burn coming from its short-term investments.

Looking to 2012, J.C. Penney reaffirmed its outlook calling for adjusted earnings of $2.16 per share, which is in-line with the consensus. J.C. Penney commented that it "expects to incur additional restructuring and management transition charges related to the simplification of its business model and will disclose the financial impact of these changes with its quarterly results at a later date."

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