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JCPenney Reports March Sales Results
Company Raises First Quarter Sales and Earnings Guidance

PLANO, Texas, Apr 08, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) comparable store sales increased 5.4 percent for the five-week period ended April 3, 2010. In last year's March period, comparable store sales decreased 7.2 percent. Total Company sales in March increased 5.0 percent.

March results reflect strong sales in all apparel categories with children's apparel the best performing division during the period. The home division experienced the weakest sales results. Geographically, the southeast region was the best performing region in March, while the northwest region had the softest sales during the month.

Preliminary March Sales Summary

($ in millions)
Total Company Sales % Increase/(Decrease)
for period ended Total Sales Comp Stores
Apr. 03, Apr. 04,
2010 2009 2010 2009 2010 2009

5 Weeks

$ 1,528 $ 1,455 5.0 (5.4 ) 5.4 (7.2 )

9 Weeks

$ 2,710 $ 2,620 3.4 (6.2 ) 3.5 (7.9 )

Updated First Quarter Sales and Earnings Outlook

Based primarily on better than expected sales performance during the February and March periods, management is raising its guidance for first quarter sales and earnings.

  • First quarter sales: Management now expects comparable store sales to increase approximately 2 percent compared to original guidance of flat to slightly positive. Total sales are also expected to increase approximately 2 percent.
  • First quarter earnings: Management now expects first quarter earnings to be in the range of $0.20 to $0.24 per share compared to original guidance for earnings to be in the range of $0.16 to $0.20.

2010 Analyst Meeting

JCPenney will host a meeting for analysts and investors on Tuesday, April 20, 2010. The meeting will be held at TheTimesCenter located at 242 West 41st Street in New York City. Check-in will start at 7:15 a.m. The meeting will begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude at 1:00 p.m., followed by an optional lunch with management. For additional details or to register for the event, please visit the Investor Relations page of the Company's corporate website at www.jcpenney.net. A live webcast of the proceedings may be accessed via the JCPenney's Investor Relations page at www.jcpenney.net or on streetevents.com (for subscribers) or investorcalendar.com. Replays of the webcast will be available for up to 90 days after the event.

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

About JCPenney

JCPenney is one of America's leading retailers, operating 1,110 department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, jcp.com, and the nation's largest general merchandise catalog business. Through these integrated channels, JCPenney offers a wide array of national, private and exclusive brands which reflect the Company's commitment to providing customers with style and quality at a smart price. Traded as "JCP" on the New York Stock Exchange, the Company posted revenue of $17.6 billion in 2009 and is executing its strategic plan to be the growth leader in the retail industry. Key to this strategy is JCPenney's "Every Day Matters" brand positioning, intended to generate deeper, more emotionally driven relationships with customers by fully engaging the Company's approximately 150,000 Associates to offer encouragement, provide ideas and inspire customers every time they shop with JCPenney.

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 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 tariff, freight, paper and postal 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, 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. 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.

J. C. Penney Company, Inc.
Investor Relations:
Phil Sanchez, 972-431-5575
psanc3@jcpenney.com
or
Teneka Ray, 972-431-5026
tray4@jcpenney.com
or
Media Relations:
Darcie Brossart or Kristin Hays, 972-431-3400
jcpcorpcomm@jcpenney.com
or
Corporate Website:
www.jcpenney.net