It's been a long time since J.C. Penney posted positive same-store sales numbers for a quarter. So you might think after having achieved an increase for the first time since the quarter ending July 2011 that analysts and investors would be more pleased with the news. Instead, Penney's two percent gain was seen as a disappointment and the company's share price fell 11 percent by the close of trading yesterday.
Analysts, surveyed by Bloomberg News, were looking for Penney's comp numbers to be up 4.1 percent.
"For comparable sales to be up two percent just underscores how challenged J.C. Penney is," Imperial Capital analyst Mary Ross-Gilbert told Bloomberg. "In this competitive environment, it shows how tough it is to regain lost share."
"While 2013 brought a lot of change and challenges to JCPenney, the steady improvements in our business show that the company's turnaround is on track," Penney CEO Myron "Mike" Ullman said in a statement. "In spite of the significant headwinds facing all retailers this season, including unprecedented harsh weather conditions in many parts of the country, we delivered on our promise to generate positive comparable store sales growth in the fourth quarter."
Were you encouraged or discouraged by Penney's reported increase in same-store sales for the fourth quarter?