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JC Penney reports EPS up 66% & Q1 operating sales climbs 37 to 7.5% for 2005

May '05
American's largest fashion retailer JC Penney Company Inc first quarter earnings per share from continuing operations increased 66 percent to $0.63 per share from $0.38 per share in last year's period. On a dollar basis, income from continuing operations increased to $172 million from $118 million last year.

Earnings per share increased primarily as the result of continued improvement in sales productivity, growth in gross margin and leverage of SG&A expenses, and also benefited from the company's ongoing stock buyback program. Net income for the quarter was $0.63 per share compared to $0.13 per share last year.

Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "Our first quarter performance demonstrates that the fundamentals of our business continue to improve, driven by the positive response of the moderate customer to our merchandise, marketing and shopping experience initiatives. Operating profit increased significantly, and we are pleased that despite difficult comparisons to last year, we delivered increased sales."

Ullman added, "Our vision is to become the preferred shopping choice for middle America, a customer segment that continues to show that it is resilient and rewards retailers that meet or exceed customers' expectations. We believe that we have identified the initiatives that can make this vision a reality and have the team in place to execute our recently announced 2005 to 2009 Long-Range Plan. Our Plan is focused on making an emotional connection with the customer, creating an easy and exciting shopping environment, becoming a leader in performance and execution, and making JCPenney a great place to work -- and we believe it will drive continued growth for the company."

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