J.C. Penney Company Inc.
(JCP), a leading retailer of apparel, footwear, accessories, fashion jewelry, beauty products and home furnishings, recently reported sales results for the five-week period ended April 3, 2010.
The company’s comparable-store sales for March 2010 rose 5.4%, portraying a substantial improvement on an increase of 1.2% in February 2010. Comparable-store sales had declined 7.2% in March 2009.
For the nine-week period, comparable-store sales climbed 3.5% compared to a decline of 7.9% posted in the same period last year.
After increasing 1.5% in February 2010, total sales for March grew 5% to $1,528 million from $1,455 million posted in the same month last year. For the nine-week period, total sales rose 3.4% to $2,710 million from $2,620 million delivered in the same period last year.
The Plano, Texas-based retailer J.C. Penney notified that the children’s division was the top performer amongst all apparel categories, while sales of home products remained sluggish.
Based on better-than-expected sales results, J.C. Penney lifted its first-quarter 2010 sales and earnings guidance.
Management now expects comparable-store sales to climb about 2% compared with its previous guidance range of “flat” to “slightly positive”. Total sales are also expected to rise nearly 2%.
J.C. Penney now forecasts first-quarter 2010 earnings between 20 cents and 24 cents a share, which matches the current Zacks Consensus Estimate of 22 cents. Earlier, management had expected earnings in the range of 16 cents to 20 cents a share.
J.C. Penney currently operates 1,110 department stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. The company also operates one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites, jcp.com, and general merchandise catalog business.

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