J.C. Penney 4Q Profit Falls
Plano, Texas J.C. Penney said its fourth-quarter profit fell 10% due to a shorter quarter, but earnings beat Wall Street expectations as the company cut expenses.
The company said net income slipped to $430 million from $477 million a year ago.
Sales fell 4% to $6.39 billion from $6.66 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales fell 2.3%.
Penney said women’s and children’s clothing were the strongest selling categories, while fine jewelry and expensive home goods were the weakest. To offset the falling sales, it said it kept a close eye on expenses, with selling, general and administrative expenses decreasing 11.3%. For the year, net income fell 4% to $1.11 billion from $1.15 billion last year. Revenue was nearly flat at $19.86 billion, from $19.9 billion last year.
The company said it expects total sales to “increase slightly” for the first quarter and in the low single digits for the full year. It expects same-store sales to fall in the low single digits for both the first quarter and the year.
“We walked away from J.C. Penney’s fourth-quarter with a continued ‘good awkward feeling’ after it posted better fourth-quarter results than planned and provided what we believe is both realistic and ‘achievable’ earnings per share guidance for 2008,” said J.P. Morgan analyst Charles Grom in a client note on Thursday.
Sears Holdings elects ex-Dell ceo to board
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Sears Holdings has elected former Dell president and ceo Kevin Rollins to its board of directors. His election increases the number of Sears Holdings’ directors to eight.
“Kevin Rollins is an accomplished businessman whose experience leading a company in Fortune’s top 50 will be invaluable as we continue to implement Sears Holdings’ revised organizational and internal management structure. The board of directors looks forward to his advice and contributions,” said Sears Holdings chairman Edward Lampert.
Rollins spent 11 years with Dell, retiring in May 2007, and served in a variety of positions including vice chairman and head of Dell Americas. Prior to his time at Dell, Rollins worked at Bain & Company, most recently serving as a director and partner.
JCPenney unveils new lifestyle brand
PLANO, Texas JCPenney today announced its largest brand launch in its history. The company introduced its new American Living lifestyle brand, designed exclusively for JCPenney by Global Brand Concepts, a division of Polo Ralph Lauren.
The American Living line, according to JCPenney, includes a full range of apparel for women, men and children, along with footwear, accessories and home furnishings and textiles. The collection will be available starting this month in about 600 stores, online at jcp.com and through the company’s catalogue.
“American Living truly differentiates JCPenney in the retail marketplace. Nowhere else but JCPenney will customers find this level of updated classic style and impeccable quality at such a smart price,” said Myron Ullman, III, chairman and ceo of JCPenney. “During the past year, hundreds of our associates have been involved in bringing American Living to life at JCPenney in partnership with Global Brand Concepts. Through their efforts, 40 merchandise categories will be offered to our customers.”
JCPenney said that three of its stores – Glendale, Calif., Paramus, NJ, and Montrose, Co. – will give special attention to the new collection, with American Living “shops,” a designated “store-within-a-store” presentation. The company said these will be similar to its in-store Sephora concept, and will bring apparel and home items into one location. JCPenney added that most of its new stores – beginning with openings in March – will feature American Living merchandise in a similar in-store presentation.