J.C. Penney, showing progress in its turnaround and sales trends better than many of its peers, reported that adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation for the fourth quarter were $381 million — a $108 million, or 40 percent, improvement from the same period last year.
Adjusted earnings per share in the quarter ended Jan. 30 were $0.39, after excluding charges associated with primary pension plan expense, restructuring costs and the loss on extinguishment of debt. Adjusted net income was $121 million, an improvement of $108 million, or 831 percent.
However, the net for the quarter showed a loss of $131 million for the quarter versus a $35 million loss a year ago. For the year, the net loss narrowed to $513 million versus $717 million a year ago.
Comparable-store sales grew 4.1 percent for the fourth quarter and 4.5 for the full year.
Marvin R. Ellison, chief executive officer, said, “We are very pleased with our performance for the fourth quarter and full year. Our focus on private brands, omnichannel and revenue per customer is clearly resonating as we continue to win market share in a competitive environment. We are also pleased that we delivered strong fourth-quarter results while effectively managing our inventory, which finished the year up 2.6 percent. I would like to thank our over 100,000 associates who embrace our strategy and come to work each day focused on driving sales and providing excellent customer service.
“While significant work remains to regain our status as a world-class retailer, the company’s financial performance this year indicates we are on the right path to achieving our long-term financial objectives. Building on the momentum of 2015, and the positive trends of the midtier U.S. customer, we now expect positive adjusted earnings in 2016, and EBITDA of $1 billion.”
For the fourth quarter, Penney reported net sales of $4.0 billion compared to $3.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014. Comparable-store sales rose 4.1 percent for the quarter.
Home, Sephora, footwear, and handbags were the top-performing categories during the quarter.