J.C. Penney Profit Falls 36%

New York City J.C. Penney Co. said on Friday quarterly profit fell 36%. The retailer blames the tumble on cutbacks in consumer spending. The company said net income fell to $117 million for its fiscal second quarter from $182 million a year earlier.

Last week, the company said July same-store sales fell a deeper-than-expected 6.5%.

"In this difficult consumer environment, we have continued to focus on tightly controlling all aspects of our business," J.C. Penney’s CEO, Myron Ullman III, said in a statement.

The company, which has tried to protect margins through tighter inventory controls, said comparable store inventory levels at the end of the second quarter were lower than a year ago.

For the quarter, total sales fell 2.5%, while same-store sales dropped 4.3%. Sales of women's apparel and shoes were stronger than other items on a relative basis, while sales of home goods and jewelry were the weakest.

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