J.C. Penney cut its net losses for the first quarter ended May 5 down to $78 million from $187 million in the year-ago period.
But adjusted losses widened to $69 million from an adjusted loss of $2 million a year ago. Adjusted losses account for the sale of operating assets of $17 million this year and $117 million a year ago.
Comparable sales increased 0.2 percent in the first quarter. Total net sales decreased 4.3 percent to $2.58 billion from $2.7 billion a year ago primarily due to the 141 store closings last year.
Marvin Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer said that top line sales came in below expectations due to cooler than normal temperatures in April but that he believed strategies are beginning to take hold and that apparel categories performed well during seasonable weather periods. Beauty and home initiatives performed well above the total comp performance, he added.