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Shares of

J.C. Penny

(JCP) - Get J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Report

fell Monday after the company said it expects sales at department stores open at least a year to be flat in April. The company cited weaker-than-expected sales during the first week of the month.

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The shares closed down about 2% to $18.97 on the news.

Sales for the first week of April were strongest in children's apparel, fine jewelry, shoes and home products, the company said.

For the month, the company expects catalog sales to be down in the low double digits. Eckerd drug store sales are expected to be up in the low single digits.

Same-department store sales in April 2002 increased 5.5%, the company said.