J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE: JCP) shares rose in Friday trading after the company reported strong sales for its third quarter.
The Plano, Texas-based company declared total net sales decreased 1.8 % to $2.81 billion in the third quarter compared to $2.86 billion in the same period last year, primarily the result of the 139 stores closed this year through the end of the third quarter. Comparable sales increased 1.7 % for the third quarter, resulting in a positive two-year stack of 0.9 %.
Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer said, "During the third quarter, we took aggressive actions to clear slow-moving inventory, primarily allowing for an improved apparel assortment heading in to the Holiday season.
"While these actions had a negative short-term impact on profitability in the third quarter, we firmly believe it was the right decision for the Company as we transition into the fourth quarter and fiscal 2018."
Home, Sephora, Footwear and Handbags, Women's Specialty and Salon were the Company's top performing divisions during the quarter. Geographically, the Gulf Coast and Midwest were the best performing regions of the country.
For the third quarter, the Company's net loss was $128 million, or $0.41 per share, compared to a net loss of $67 million, or $0.22 per share in the same period last year.
In the last hour of trade, Penney stock soared 40 cents, or 14.6%, to $3.15.
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