What JC Penney Holiday Sales Are Saying

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) shares dipped on Thursday after the company announced its holiday sales results. These holiday results track the nine-week period ending on January 4, 2020.

The retailer said that its comparable store sales decreased by 7.5 %. Adjusted comparable store sales, which exclude the impact of the company’s exit from the major appliance and in-store furniture categories, decreased 5.3%.

These sales numbers, along with those from Kohl’s and others, seem to be proving that brick-and-mortar retailers are falling by the wayside. With more consumers looking for their goods online, these numbers may only get worse over time. This is reflected in the full-year guidance.

J.C. Penney also reaffirmed its financial guidance for fiscal 2019 as follows:

  • Comparable store sales: expected to be in a range of (7.0)% to (8.0)%;
  • Adjusted comparable store sales, which excludes the impact of the Company’s exit from major appliances and in-store furniture categories: expected to be in a range of (5.0)% to (6.0)%;
  • Cost of goods sold, as a percent of net sales, expected to decrease 150 to 200 basis points compared to last year;
  • Adjusted EBITDA expected to exceed $475 million; and
  • Free Cash Flow: expected to be positive.

Look for the company to report its fourth quarter and fiscal 2019 results on Feb. 27, 2020.

Excluding Thursday’s move, J.C. Penney had underperformed the broad markets, with its stock down about 1% in the past 52 weeks. Over the past quarter, the stock was actually up 25%.

Shares of J.C. Penney traded down more than 4% early Thursday, at $1.14 in a 52-week range of $0.53 to $1.92. The consensus price target is $0.89.

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