J.C. Penney Holiday Sales Fall 7.5%

J.C. Penney maintains its fiscal-year comparable-store sales guidance that calls for a decline of between 7% to 8%.
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Shares of retailer J.C. Penney  (JCP) - Get Report were falling in premarket trading Thursday after the company reported a same-store sales decline during the nine-week holiday season ended Jan. 4 of 7.5%.

Comparable sales adjusted for the company’s exit from major appliance and in-store furniture sales declined 5.3%.

However, it wasn’t all bad news for J.C. Penney as the retailer reaffirmed its full-year financial guidance despite the weak holiday period. For the year, comps are expected to decline between 7% and 8% .

The company also expects free cash flow to be positive for the year with adjusted EBITDA expected to exceed $475 million.

The news from J.C. Penney puts additional pressure on the retail sector after Kohl’s  (KSS) - Get Report also dropped Thursday after it reported poor holiday sales that prompted the company to reduce guidance.

Kohl's said comparable-store sales for fiscal November and December 2019 combined decreased 0.2% from the same period last year - a surprise to analysts and investors, who had expected the company performed well over the holidays.

Based on that, Kohl’s said it now expects fiscal 2019 per-share earnings to be at the low end of its previously announced guidance range of $4.75 to $4.95. The guidance excludes 22 cents a share related to debt and impairment write-offs, store closings and other costs.

“We continue to see momentum in key areas including our digital business, active, beauty and children’s, and solid performance in footwear and men’s,” CEO Michelle Gass said. “This was offset by softness in women’s, which we are working with speed to address.”

J.C. Penney fell 2.5% to $1.17 in premarket trading while Kohl’s tumbled 8.53% to $45.17.