J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

said third-quarter earnings declined 52% but the result topped analysts' estimates despite an as expected comparable-store sales decline of 10.1%.

J.C. Penney said it expects comparable-store sales in the fourth quarter to decline 9% to 11% and earnings of 90 cents to $1.05 a share. Analysts estimate fourth-quarter earnings of $1.32 a share.

The retailer reported earnings of $124 million, or 56 cents a share, compared with $261 million, or $1.17 a share, a year earlier. Total sales fell 8.7% to $4.3 billion. On a continuing operations basis, earnings in the quarter were 55 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by

Thomson Reuters

expected earnings of 53 cents a share.

The company said as of Nov. 1 it had cash and short-term investments of $1.6 billion and long-term debt of $3.5 billion.

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