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Allen Questrom has added another line to his turnaround legacy at

J.C. Penney

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


The Texas-based department store chain Tuesday said its third-quarter profit jumped 86.3% to $149 million, or 50 cents a share, vs. $80 million, or 27 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

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The quarterly earnings included the impact of $47 million, or 10 cents a share, for one-time charges associated with early debt retirements. Analysts were expecting 48 cents a share, based on a Thomson First Call survey.

Questrom, Penney's chairman and CEO, is stepping down Dec. 1, a year ahead of the expiration of his five-year contract. The company is now in the fourth year of Questrom's turnaround campaign. Myron E. Ullman III, 57, a former chief executive of Macy's, is taking over.

Revenue rose 3% to $4.46 billion. Same-store sales increased 2.7%. Gross margin increased by 230 basis points as a percent of sales.

"Third-quarter operating profit was significantly higher than our original expectations and I am pleased with the progress we continue to make," the company said. "We are entering the fourth quarter with confidence and momentum, and stores are set for the holidays with exciting merchandise assortments supported by powerful marketing."

The company also forecast fourth-quarter EPS from continuing operations of 95 cents to $1.05, including 5 cents to 10 cents in one-time charges. The consensus forecast is $1.07 a share.

Shares rose 24 cents, or 0.6%, to $40.65 in premarket trading.