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J.C. Penney’s loss worse than expected

J.C. Penney Co Inc reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as a challenging retail environment continued to take a toll on its comparable sales, sending its shares tumbling 17 percent.

Shares fell to $3.92 in premarket trading, putting them on track to open at a record low.

Sales at Penney’s stores open more than 12 months fell for the fifth straight quarter to 1.3 percent, slightly worse than the 1.2 percent decline expected by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.

Penney’s weaker-than-expected same-store sales was in contrast to those from Macy’s Inc and Kohl’s Corp. The larger rivals had reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and comparable sales on Thursday.

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Penney’s net loss widened to $62 million, or 20 cents per share, in the second quarter ended July 29, from $56 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company reported a loss of 9 cents per share, worse than the average analyst estimate of 5 cents loss, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

However, net sales rose 1.5 percent to $2.96 billion, coming in better than $2.84 billion estimated by analysts. (Reuters)

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