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J.C. Penney Beats by a Penny

The retailer nudges guidance a bit higher too.
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J.C. Penney (JCP) - Get J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Report beat second-quarter earnings estimates and raised full-year guidance, citing a strong start to back-to-school season.

The Plano, Texas, retailer made $175 million, or 78 cents a share, from continuing operations for the quarter ended Aug. 4. That compares with the year-ago continuing operations profit of $178 million, or 75 cents a share.

Sales rose 3.6% from a year ago to $4.39 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 77-cent profit on sales of $4.42 billion.

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"Our second quarter performance speaks to the strength of our strategies to make a deep connection with our customers and drive growth in our business, even in what has been a challenging retail environment," said CEO Mike Ullman.

J.C. Penney raised its full-year earnings target by a penny to $5.50 a share. Analysts were looking for $5.48.