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J.C. Penney


said Thursday that its January same-store sales decline was wider than analysts were expecting.

The retailer said same-store sales for its department stores declined 6% for the month. Analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

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were expecting comp sales to slide 2.7%, the eighth time the company has seen a decline in the last nine months.

Shares of J.C. Penney fell $1.11, or 7.2%, to $14.30 in recent

New York Stock Exchange


The company, which is based in Plano, Texas, also said total sales for January declined 2.4% to $2.17 billion from $2.22 billion in the year-ago period. Catalog sales fell 17.8%, primarily because of the elimination of several catalog lines. Total department store sales fell 6.2% for the month, while drugstore sales rose 5.4%.

For the fourth quarter, total sales fell 0.9% to $9.75 billion from $9.83 billion a year ago. J.C. Penney will report fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 22.