J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

this morning said October sales for its departments stores open at least a year fell 2.6%. The retailer also warned that it expects its third-quarter loss to at least double, to a range of 10 cents to 15 cents. The current estimate from the 12 analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

was for a loss of 5 cents.

The company, which is the fifth-largest U.S. retailer, said last month's same-store sales results were hurt by both soft department store and catalogue sales.

There was a bright spot for the company, however. Penney's Eckerd drug store division's same-store sales jumped 8.4% for the month.