FINANCE

J.C. Penney Q4 loss worse than expected; same-store sales fall 32%

BY Marianne Wilson

Plano, Texas — There were no signs of relief for J.C. Penney Co. in the fourth quarter as the company reported a wider-than-expected net loss of $552 million, compared with a loss of $87 million in the year-ago period. The chain did not issue guidance, but did announce it would open nearly 20 home-centered shops with different brand partners in 550 stores the spring.

Total sales for the quarter, which included $163 million of sales in the 53rd week, decreased 28.4 % to $3.88 billion. Analysts had expected $4.08 billion. Same- store sales, which exclude the 53rd week, declined 31.7%, below the consensus call of 26.9%. Online sales fell 34.4% to $315 million.

For the year, Penney reported a net loss of $985 million or $4.49 per share. Total sales declined 24.8% to $12.96 billion. Analysts had forecast sales of $13.18 billion compares with actual 2011 sales of $17.26 billion.

“Sales and customer traffic were below our expectations in 2012, but as we execute our ambitious transformation plan, we are pleased with the great strides we made to improve J.C. Penney`s cost structure, technology platforms and the overall customer experience,” stated Ron Johnson, president and CEO, J.C. Penney Co. “We have accomplished so much in the last twelve months. We believe the bold actions taken in 2012 will materially improve the company’s long-term growth and profitability."

Penney also gave more details into its ongoing store overhaul plans. In spring 2013, it plans to open close to 20 shops designated for home products in 505 stores with brand partners such as Michael Graves, Jonathan Adler and Sir Terence Conran, among others.

In addition to transforming the home area, the company will open nearly 700 Joe Fresh apparel shops on March 15, 2013 as it transforms nearly 11 million sq. ft. of retail space in the spring.

In addition, Penney will open 60 Sephora shops inside Penney stores, bringing the total to 446.

“Looking ahead, we are energized by our shop roll out plans for 2013 and the exciting work our teams are undertaking to transform the store,” Johnson said. “Combining a new marketing campaign focused on style and value, incredible new brands and updated merchandise, with continued enhancements to the customer experience both in our stores and on jcp.com, we are working towards reconnecting with our core customer while attracting new customers to J.C. Penney.”

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E.Ka says:
Mar-19-2013 07:55 pm

The serves as a lesson to the
The serves as a lesson to the company. Next time, you should first see the situation and have an environmental scanning. - Rich Von Alvensleben

E.Ka says:
Mar-19-2013 07:55 pm

The serves as a lesson to the company. Next time, you should first see the situation and have an environmental scanning. - Rich Von Alvensleben

J.Shaughness says:
Feb-28-2013 11:34 am

JCP Q4 results
Crash, burn, repeat. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

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Limited Brands Q4 comps up 5%

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Limited Brands reported that adjusted earnings per share for the 14-week fourth quarter ended Feb. 2 were $1.76 compared with $1.50 for the 13-week fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, 2012.

Comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 5%. Net sales were $3.86 billion for the quarter compared with $3.5 billion for the same period last year.

For the full year, the company reported adjusted earnings per share of$2.92 compared with $2.60 for the year ended Jan. 28, 2012. Adjusted operating income was $1.707 billion in 2012 compared with $1.546 billion in 2011, and adjusted net income was $866.7 million compared to $817.3 million in 2011.

The company reported a comparable stores sales increase of 6% for the year. Net sales were $10.46 billion for the 53-week year ended Feb. 2, 2013, compared with $10.36 billion for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 28, 2012.

Limited said it currently expects 2013 full-year earnings per share to be between $2.92 and $3.12, including earnings per share between 40 cents and 45 cents in the first quarter.

The company expects to report a February comparable-store sales increase in line with its previous guidance for up low single digit comps.

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Q4 comps a disaster at JCP

BY CSA STAFF

Fouth quarter same store sales fell by a jaw-dropping 31.7% at J.C. Penney, but CEO Ron Johnson insisted the company continues to make great strides with its one year old transformation strategy.

The company report an adjusted net loss for the quarter of $427 million, or $1.95 a share and a full year adjusted net loss of $766 million or $3.49 a share.

"Sales and customer traffic were below our expectations in 2012, but as we execute our ambitious transformation plan, we are pleased with the great strides we made to improve J.C. Penney’s cost structure, technology platforms and the overall customer experience," Johnson said. "We have accomplished so much in the last twelve months. We believe the bold actions taken in 2012 will materially improve the company`s long-term growth and profitability."

The fourth quarter sales results were the worst for the company all year and represented a sequential decline from the third quarter’s negative 26.1%, a negative 21.7% second quarter comp and a negative 18.9% first quarter comp. Those figure were on top of a 0.2% gain in the fiscal year ended January 28, 2012 and a 2.5% increase in the fiscal year ended January 29, 2011.

Undeterred by the weak sales results, Johnson remains convinced of a strategy that involves remodeling the entire chain to showcase a series of brand and designer shops.

"Looking ahead, we are energized by our shop roll out plans for 2013 and the exciting work our teams are undertaking to transform the store," Johnson said. "Combining a new marketing campaign focused on style and value, incredible new brands and updated merchandise, with continued enhancements to the customer experience both in our stores and on jcp.com, we are working towards reconnecting with our core customer while attracting new customers to J.C. Penney."

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