J.C. Penney Company Inc. (NYSE: JCP) surpassed market estimates on bottom-line for the second quarter of 2019 but reported lower-than-expected revenues. Total revenues were $2.62 billion, down 7.4% compared to the year-ago quarter, and lower than the street view of $2.71 billion.
Net sales fell 9.2% year-over-year to $2.51 billion as comparable sales plunged 9%. Excluding the impact of exit from major appliance and in-store furniture categories, comparable sales decreased 6%.
Adjusted net loss came in at 18 cents per share, narrower than the analysts’ forecast of 31 cents per share.
CEO Jill Soltau said, “Notably this quarter, the meaningful improvement we delivered in cost of goods sold was driven by lower permanent markdowns, improved shrink results, increased store and online selling margins and the exit of major appliance and in-store furniture categories.”
Inventory at the end of the second quarter was $2.47 billion, down 12.5 % compared to the end of the second quarter last year.
The company reiterated its projection of positive free cash flow for fiscal year 2019. In addition, it provided guidance for some other metrics as well. For the full year, comparable sales is now expected to decline 7-8%, while Adjusted EBITDA was projected in a range of $440 million to $475 million.
In a separate release, the retailer announced the appointment of Stacey Shively, a senior executive with nearly 25 years of retail merchandising experience, as the senior vice president, general merchandise manager for its home division, effective September 9.
A week ago, JCPenney received notice from the New York Stock Exchange for not complying with the minimum stock price requirement. The retail firm will have six months to prove its worth and stay listed, but there has been very little optimism surrounding the stock in the market.
JCP shares fell 3.5% immediately following the announcement. The stock has declined 45% in the year-to-date period to less than one dollar.
On Wednesday, rival Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) missed earnings estimates for the second quarter of 2019 and lowered its EPS guidance for full-year 2019, sending shares toppling over 15%. Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) and Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) will report next week.
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