updated 5/17/2005 12:24:44 PM ET 2005-05-17T16:24:44

Department-store chain JC Penney Co. on Tuesday posted a more than fourfold rise in profit for the first quarter, helped by improved sales and sharply higher Internet business.

Quarterly earnings jumped to $172 million, or 63 cents per share, from $41 million, or 13 cents, in the first quarter a year ago. On a continuing operations basis, prior-year earnings were 38 cents per share, the company said.

The latest results beat by 2 cents a share the average analyst estimate from a survey by Thomson Financial.

Sales totaled $4.19 billion, a gain of 4 percent from $4.03 billion and ahead of analysts' estimate for $4.17 billion.

At stores open at least a year, sales rose 3 percent, compared with growth of 9.5 percent the year before. Catalog and Internet sales also expanded by 5.4 percent, with Internet sales alone climbing 35 percent, JC Penney said.

Second-quarter earnings are forecast in the range of 25 cents to 30 cents per share — including about 3 cents in charges for retiring debt and expensing stock options — with same-store sales expected to increase at a low single-digit percentage rate. For the year, JC Penney projects income of $2.96 to $3.08 per share, including charges of about 13 cents.

Analysts expect a second-quarter profit of 31 cents per share and annual earnings of $3.17 per share. Those estimates usually exclude extraordinary gains and charges.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

Data: Latest rates in the US

Home equity rates View rates in your area
Home equity type Today +/- Chart
$30K HELOC FICO 3.79%
$30K home equity loan FICO 4.99%
$75K home equity loan FICO 4.69%
Credit card rates View more rates
Card type Today +/- Last Week
Low Interest Cards 13.83%
Cash Back Cards 17.80%
Rewards Cards 17.18%
Source: Bankrate.com