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JC Penney Q1 profit rises 22%

May '06
Department store operator JC Penney Company Inc first quarter 2006 earnings per share from continuing operations increased 45.2 percent to $0.90 per share from $0.62 per share in last year's period.

Operating profit increased 19.8 percent to $369 million from $308 million last year. On a per share basis, net income in the quarter, including the effects of discontinued operations, was $0.89 per share compared to $0.63 per share last year.

"We are pleased with the progress the company continues to make in executing the long range plan, which is focused on building long term growth for our business. We have established strong momentum and are focused on accelerating growth and becoming a leader in the retail industry," said Myron (Mike) Ullman, III, Chairman and CEO.

"In the first quarter we delivered a strong increase in earnings, achieving our twelfth consecutive quarter of comparable store sales gains and continued to improve both our gross margin and SG&A expense ratios."

Ullman added, "While economic indicators are generally positive, we know that our customers - the moderate consumer - are faced with high energy prices and increasing interest rates. This makes it even more important that we deliver the style, quality, and shopping experience they want."

The company believes it is well positioned to benefit from the changes occurring across the retail landscape. To capitalize on the opportunity for JC Penney in this new environment, the Company is focused on executing the long range plan to drive continued improvement in its existing business and to deliver growth.

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