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J. C. Penney going up albeit slowly

Staff writer ▼ | November 21, 2013
J. C. Penney Company announced financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended November 2, 2013. Net sales were $2.78 billion, compared to $2.93 billion in Q3 2012.
J. C. Penney Company
J. C. Penney CompanyJ. C. Penney Company announced financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended November 2, 2013. Net sales were $2.78 billion, compared to $2.93 billion in Q3 2012.


Comparable store sales declined 4.8% for the quarter, which represented a sequential improvement of 710 basis points when compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The quarter ended with a positive 0.9% comparable store sales gain in October.

In addition, sales results improved sequentially each month within the quarter. Online sales through jcp.com were $266 million for the quarter, up 24.5% versus the same period last year and reflecting sequential increases through the quarter. Women's apparel, men's apparel and fine jewelry were the Company's top performing merchandise divisions.

For the third quarter, gross margin was 29.5% of sales, compared to 32.5% in the same quarter last year. Gross margin for the third quarter was negatively impacted by lower clearance margins due to the overhang of inventory from the first two quarters of the year, higher levels of clearance units sold, as well as the Company's transition back to a promotional pricing strategy as compared to last year's strategy. Notwithstanding, gross margin did improve sequentially throughout the quarter.

SG&A expenses for the quarter were approximately $1 billion, down 1.9% from the previous quarter and down 7.5% from the third quarter of 2012.

Operating loss for the fiscal third quarter of 2013 was $401 million. The Company incurred $46 million in restructuring and management transition charges: Home office and stores ($6) million; Store fixtures $10 million; Management transition $3 million; and Other $39 million, including $36 million relating to the return of shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia previously acquired by the company.


 

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