NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -

J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

is slipping in pre-market trading, as third-quarter sales fell short of expectations.

During the quarter the department store earned $44 million, or 19 cents a share, compared with $27 million, or 11 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were calling for a profit of 17 cents.

J.C. Penney sales grew slightly to $4.19 billion, less than the $4.22 billion Wall Street predicted. Same-store sales increased 1.9%.

Looking ahead, J.C. Penney expects fourth-quarter earnings in the range of 90 cents to $1 a share, compared with analysts outlook of 94 cents.

--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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