J.C. Penney Reports Massive 4Q Loss


J.C. Penney is reporting massive losses and plunging sales for its fiscal fourth-quarter as the department store chain's plan to scale back most coupons and sales events has continued to turn off shoppers.

The results mark a full year of massive losses under CEO Ron Johnson, who took on the role in November 2011 to overhaul every aspect of Penney's business.

The company, based in Plano, Texas, says it lost $552 million, or $2.51 per share, for the period ended Feb. 2. That compares with a loss of $87 million, or 41 cents per share in the year-ago period.

Revenue dropped 28.4 percent to $3.88 billion.

Analysts were expecting a loss of 23 cents on revenue of $4.08 billion.

Revenue at stores opened at least a year dropped 31.7 percent.

“There’s really nothing that we’ve seen like it,” Erika Maschmeyer, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. in Chicago with a neutral rating on the stock, told Bloomberg of the decline. “They don’t give much in the way of guidance, which makes it really hard to figure out how to think about this one for 2013, what is the base, and how well are these new promotions working.”

The shares plunged as much as 17 percent in early trading in New York after the company announced its dismal sales, Bloomberg reported.

Johnson on Wednesday admitted that he had “made some big mistakes” and reiterated his plan to put 100 boutiques inside most J.C. Penney stores, according to Bloomberg. Penny’s sales are well behind Gap Inc. (GPS) and shrank to half of those at Macy’s Inc. (M), Bloomberg reported.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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