PLANO, United States — J.C. Penney Co., the department-store chain in the midst of a turnaround, swung to a loss in the fourth quarter, amid increased discounting during the holiday season. The shares fell.
The retailer reported a loss of $59 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with a profit of $35 million, or 11 cents, according to a statement Thursday from the Plano, Texas-based company. A year earlier, the company had a one-time $270 million non-cash tax credit.
Since returning two years ago to the company from the short-lived, disastrous Ron Johnson era, Chief Executive Officer Mike Ullman has stabilized losses. For his second act, he’s focused on reviving sales growth with a strategy that includes revamped marketing and expanding Disney-themed merchandise. Ullman will retire in August and Marvin Ellison, a former Home Depot Inc. executive, will succeed him.
The retailer reported a 2.9 percent increase in fourth- quarter revenue. Sales rose to $3.89 billion, from $3.78 billion, a year earlier. Analysts projected $3.87 billion. The chain had already reported same-store sales rose 3.7 percent during November and December.
J.C. Penney fell 6.9 percent to $8.49 at 4:15 p.m. in New York. The stock had gained 41 percent this year through the close Thursday, compared with a gain of 2.5 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
By Matt Townsend. Editors: Nick Turner, James Callan, Niamh Ring.