updated 11/9/2006 8:33:43 AM ET 2006-11-09T13:33:43

Department store chain J. C. Penney Co. said Thursday its third-quarter profit rose 22.6 percent, aided by solid sales and raised its full-year financial forecast.

For the quarter ended Oct. 28, the company reported net income of $287 million, or $1.26 per share, versus a prior-year profit of $234 million, or 94 cents per share. Revenue rose to $4.78 billion from $4.48 billion in the year earlier period.

Wall Street forecast a profit of $1.23 per share, the average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, on projected sales of $4.75 billion.

Sales in stores open at least one year — a retail performance gauge called same-store sales — rose 5.2 percent, a figure J.C. Penney said was better than expected. Internet sales climbed 27 percent.

The retailer forecast earnings of roughly $1.94 in the current fourth quarter, and $4.82 per share for the full year. Same-store sales in the current quarter are expected to rise in the low single-digit range.

In August the company forecast full-year earnings in the range of $4.55 per share.

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