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J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Reports December Sales Results
Company Updates Fourth Quarter Sales and Earnings Outlook

PLANO, Texas, Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) reported today that its comparable store sales for the five-week period ended Dec. 31, 2011, increased 0.3 percent.  This compares to a 3.7 percent increase in the same period last year. Total Company sales in December decreased 2.3 percent.


For the month, children's apparel and women's accessories were the top performing merchandise divisions.  While overall sales and traffic were softer than anticipated, the Company noted better trends in its stores during the week leading up to Christmas and increases in traffic and orders on during the key holiday shopping periods of the week after Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas.

Preliminary December Sales Summary

($ in millions)














Total Company Sales


% Increase/(Decrease)


for period ended


Total Sales


Comp Stores


Dec. 31,


Jan. 01,































5 Weeks

$      2,886


$      2,955





















9 Weeks

$      4,624


$      4,800





















48 Weeks

$      16,459


$    16,855





















Fourth Quarter Outlook
Due to the softer sales performance during the first two months of the quarter, the Company now anticipates that comparable store sales for the fourth quarter will be down slightly to last year.  Earnings before one-time items identified below, are now expected to be in the range of $0.65 to $0.70 per share on a non-GAAP basis, reflecting lower sales and higher markdown activity than anticipated throughout the quarter.  On a GAAP reporting basis, the Company expects to report a fourth quarter loss in the range of ($0.45) to ($0.30) per share, after including the following one-time items:

    • restructuring and management transition charges that are now expected to be approximately $0.50 to $0.55 per share; and
    • the financial impact of actions taken to execute changes to the Company's pricing and promotional strategies ahead of the spring 2012 season, that are expected to lower operating income and impact earnings per share by approximately $0.50 to $0.55

Today's Sales Conference Call Recording (8:30 a.m. ET) -- (877) 793-7778   

For further information, contact:

Investor Relations
Kristin Hays and Angelika Torres; (972) 431-5500

Media Relations
Darcie Brossart and Rebecca Winter; (972) 431-3400

Corporate Website

About J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
J. C. Penney Company, Inc., one of America's leading retailers, operates over 1,100 jcpenney department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, Serving more than half of America's families each year, the jcpenney brand offers a wide array of private, exclusive and national brands which reflect the Company's vision to be America's shopping destination for discovering great styles at compelling prices. Traded as "JCP" on the New York Stock Exchange, the $17.8 billion retailer is transforming its organization to build a sustainable, profitable enterprise that serves its customers, engages its associates and rewards its shareholders.  For more information visit,

This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties proceedings that may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from planned or expected results. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, including inflation, recession, unemployment levels, consumer spending patterns, credit availability and debt levels, changes in store traffic trends, the cost of goods, trade restrictions, changes in pricing strategies, changes in tariff, freight and shipping rates, changes in the cost of fuel and other energy and transportation costs, increases in wage and benefit costs, competition and retail industry consolidations, interest rate fluctuations, dollar and other currency valuations, the impact of weather conditions, risks associated with war, an act of terrorism or pandemic, and a systems failure and/or security breach that results in the theft, transfer or unauthorized disclosure of customer, employee or Company information and legal and regulatory proceedings.  Please refer to the Company's most recent Form 10-K and subsequent filings for a further discussion of risks and uncertainties. Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. We do not undertake to update these forward-looking statements as of any future date.

SOURCE J. C. Penney Company, Inc.

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