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JCPenney to improve consumer environment during 2008
Feb '08
J. C. Penney Company Inc reported operating income of $729 million and earnings from continuing operations of $1.93 per share for the fourth quarter of 2007. Operating income as a percent of sales increased slightly in the quarter, although on a dollar basis it declined compared to last year's 14-week fourth quarter.

For the quarter, the impact of gross margin pressure resulting from a weak consumer spending environment was more than offset by effective control of operating expenses. For the full year, operating income was $1,888 million, or 9.5 per cent of sales, and earnings from continuing operations were $4.90 per share. Net income for this year's fourth quarter and full year, including the impact of discontinued operations, was $1.93 and $4.93 per share, respectively.

"I am proud of what our team accomplished in 2007," said Myron E. (Mike) Ullman III, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney. "Our ability to manage the business through difficult retail conditions is a tribute to our Associates around the country and validates the Long-Range Plan initiatives we have been implementing to become the retail industry leader in performance and execution.

"With no clear indication that the consumer environment will improve during 2008, we have taken a conservative approach to planning our business to maintain a balance between near-term economic realities and our long-term growth opportunities. To this end, we will remain focused on improvingthe customer experience in our stores and providing exciting, stylish merchandise at smart prices that will resonate well with our customers during this period.

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