J.C. Penney Co. Inc. posted another poor quarter, ratcheting up pressure on the struggling department store chain to show improvement over the crucial holiday period.
The company’s net loss was $151 million, or 48 cents per share, for the third quarter ended Nov. 3, compared to a net loss of $125 million, or 40 cents per share, in the same period last year. The adjusted net loss was $164 million, or 52 cents per share, for the third quarter compared to an adjusted net loss of $108 million, or 35 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Comparable sales decreased 5.4 in the last quarter. Reflecting the calendar shift in 2018 due to the 53rd week in 2017, comparable sales declined 4.5 percent.
Jill Soltau, J.C. Penney’s new chief executive officer, said, “In spite of our overall sales results, I am encouraged by the recent underlying trends in key businesses such as women’s apparel, active, special sizes and fine jewelry. We are making progress and taking the necessary steps to right-size our inventory positions to better support the brands and categories that are demonstrating profitable sales growth.
“While restoring J.C. Penney to sustained profitable growth will be a lengthy process, I understand the need for quick action,” Soltau added. “My commitment is that we will make sound, strategic decisions backed by data, and will always be rooted in delivering on our customers’ wants and expectations. We will act swiftly but thoughtfully as we move the business forward. While these things take time, the results we are reporting today only strengthen our sense of urgency and purpose.
Total sales decreased 5.8 percent to $2.65 billion compared to $2.82 billion in the year-ago period.
Jewelry, women’s apparel and men’s were J.C. Penney’s top-performing categories during the quarter.