J.C. Penney Gets Even Worse in Q4

Michael Teague |

J.C. Penney Falls Precipitously in Afterhours Trading on Dismal Earnings ReportEmbattled department store chain J.C. Penney (JCP) failed to impress Wall Street after whiffing on fourth quarter results. Shares fell about 15 percent in afterhours trading Wednesday to around $18 per share.

J.C. Penney's results indicated that Q4 revenues for stores open for at least one year was down 31.7 percent against the same period the previous year, whereas Wall Street had forecasted a loss of 26.1 percent.

The company lost $552 million, or $2.51 per share, compared with Q4 of 2011’s loss of $87 million, or $0.41 per share. On an adjusted basis, the company still lost $427 million, or $1.95 per share, for the quarter. Revenue fell 28.4 percent to $3.88 billion. Analysts had expected a loss of 23 cents on revenue of $4.08 billion.

The Q4 figures come in the context of a full year of quarterly losses for JCP; 26.1 percent in Q3, 21.7 percent in Q2, and 19 percent in Q1. For the full year, the company lost $958 million, $4.49 per share, versus a loss of $52 million or $0.70 cents per share in 2011. Revenue was also down nearly 25 percent to $12.98 billion.

Declining sales and an exodus of customers has been cited as one of the reasons for such a steep decline, as the company has attempted to reinvent itself with the highly anticipated installment of former Apple (AAPL) executive Ron Johnson as CEO.

In the process, it had done away with customer favorites like its coupon program and sales events, replacing them with an everyday low-price scheme.  Johnson said in a webcast Wednesday evening that that sales and coupons would be reinstated, with slightly different branding and optics.

Today’s disaster also comes on the heels of lawsuit brought by Macy’s (M) against the embattled, 110-year-old department store chain regarding a deal it made with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. (MSO) to sell Martha Stewart products in its stores.  Macy’s is claiming that the deal is a breach of its own contract with MSO, and furthermore that JCP may have stolen proprietary information about its department store rival in the process.

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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
AAPL Apple Inc. 115.59 -2.66 -2.25 66,131,101
JCP J.C. Penney Company Inc. Holding Company 8.41 0.04 0.48 15,601,965
KGC Kinross Gold Corporation 3.79 -0.11 -2.82 14,566,687
M Macys Inc. 35.95 0.02 0.06 3,899,398
MSO Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. n/a n/a n/a 0


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