Tomahawk, WI 2/28/2014 (Basicsmedia) –  J. C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP) Reports Less than Expected Loss for Q4 and Full year (2013)

J. C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has posted its fourth quarter and full year results that came above analyst’s expectation recording first sales gain since the second quarter of 2011. The merchandise and service company recorded solid progress for the second quarter despite experiencing challenges in the retail space.

Same store sales were among the best performers moving up by 2% as compared to the third quarter as the company generated positive free cash flow of $246 million.

Holiday sales were positively impacted by the holiday frenzy of November and December as they were up by 3.1%. J. C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP) Chief Executive Officer was quick to note that the company achieved its key targets of the year on all fronts.

Fourth quarter results

The gross margin was one of the biggest movers in the fourth quarter growing from lows of 23.8% to highs of 28.4% representing 460 basis points improvement. Net sales for the quarter came in at $3.78 billion slightly lower when compared to net sales of $3.88 billion in Q4 12 which was rather impacted by the additional 53 weeks.

Comparable store sales of J. C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP) for the quarter was up by 2% a 680 basis points improvement compared to the third quarter of the same year. Online sales for the quarter were also up by 26.3% clocking in at $381 million.

Full year results

Comparable store sales were down for the full year by 7.4% with total sales also going down by 8.7%, online sales was the only best performing segment in this case growing by $59 million to clock in at $1.08 billion. Gross margin also fell for the full year by 190 basis points coming in at 29.4% when compared to the prior year of 31.3%

Full year was mainly mired by a loss of $1.42 billion which included restructuring and management transition charges amounting to $215 million.

 Outlook

J. C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP) expects sales to grow by approximately 3% to 5% with gross margin also expected to grow for the first quarter. JCPenney expects liquidity to be in excess of $2 billion at the back of total capital expenditure of $250 million.

J. C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP) was up in the market by 25.34% to close the day at a high of $7.47

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