J.C. Penney warns store closings are coming

J.C. Penney said it is closing more stores after a weak holiday sales season after fourth-quarter income tumbled nearly 70 percent and revenue slid 8 percent.

The retail company’s results during the holiday sales season did beat Wall Street expectations, and shares jumped 18 percent before the opening bell Thursday.

The company’s net income was $75 million, or 24 cents per share, for the quarter. That compares with $242 million, or 77 cents per share, a year ago.  Revenue was $3.78 billion, also beating analyst expectations, according to a survey by FactSet. .

Same-store sales fell 4 percent, and the company says it’s closing 18 JCPenney stores, although some outside reports have noted 24 closures coming.

CEO Jill Soltau, who took over the struggling retailer last October after several years running Jo-Ann Stores, said in a statement: “Based on everything I have seen and heard, I am even more convinced that JCPenney is a revered brand that has the capacity to deliver improved results. In spite of our past financial performance, we have already taken meaningful steps to drive improvement in key businesses such as women’s apparel, active apparel, special sized apparel and fine jewelry.”

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