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J.C. Penney Goes from Loss to Profit in Second Quarter

Posted on August 13, 2010 by HFN Staff

PLANO, Texas--Second-quarter net income for J.C. Penney totaled $14 million, compared to a $1 million net loss in the second quarter of 2009.

The company, however, lowered its forecast for the overall year, citing an "uncertain" outlook for the back half of the year.

Expense controls helped to improve the department-store retailer's bottom line in spite of a 0.1 percent slip in second-quarter net sales, which were $3.9 billion. Selling, general and administrative expenses were held relatively in check, rising 2.5 percent. Gross margin rose 87 basis points to 39.4 percent. Same-store sales did rise 1 percent in the quarter.

Along with its focus on what Myron Ullman III, chairman and chief executive officer, called "operating excellence," J.C. Penney has been changing its merchandise assortments and introducing new brands since the beginning of the year. "The success of these initiatives...was evident in our performance during the important appointment shopping periods and by the solid growth in profitable sales," Ullman said.

For the second half of 2010, J.C. Penney said it expects same-store sales to increase by 2 percent to 3 percent.