By  on February 27, 2014

Shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. shot up 21.1 percent to $7.22 in the first hour of trading on Wall Street today, a sign that investors were relieved to see both better fourth-quarter results and that the shadow of a Securities and Exchange Commission inquiry had been lifted.

The retailer reported a net profit of $35 million for the fourth quarter on a 2 percent gain in comparable-store sales. “We’ve restored calm and clarity of purpose with suppliers, shored up our financial position and have rebuilt Penney’s from the inside out,” said chief executive officer Myron “Mike” Ullman 3rd on Wednesday.

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