(Data and quotes from the International Council of Shopping Centers added.)June sale were dismal, down 5.1% for the month according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. But June is now ancient history. What's more important coming out of Thursday's numbers is what will happen in the second quarter. Surprisingly, there is some good news. JC Penney ( JCP), for one, narrowed its loss forecast for the second quarter. After posting an 8.2% decline in June sales, beating analysts' estimates, the department store said it now expects a second-quarter loss in the range of 8 cents to 12 cents a share. Previously it had predicted a loss of between 15 cents and 25 cents a share. TJX ( TJX)also lifted its second-quarter earnings outlook from continuing operations on better-than-expected June sales results and strong merchandise margins. The off-pricer now anticipates second-quarter earnings from continuing operations in the range of 56 cents to 59 cents per share, up from previous guidance of 43 cents to 49 cents per share. TJX saw June same-store sales jump 4% in June, far surpassing Wall Street's expectations of a loss of .6%. Once again earning its title of "Best in Class" is Aeropostale ( ARO), which lifted its second quarter guidance after reporting a solid 12% increase in June same-store sales. Analysts expected comparable sales up 10.3%. The teen retailer now foresees second-quarter earnings in the range of 45 cents to 47 cents per share, up from prior forecast of 43 cents to 45 cents. Rival American Eagle Outfitters ( AEO) reaffirmed its second-quarter outlook between 12 cents and 15 cents per share, after posting an 11% drop in June same-store sales. Last year in the second quarter the company reported earnings of 29 cents per share. "Although June sales continued their very weak performance that has persisted since December 2008, there were some improvements beneath the surface with a handful of teen and value retailers posting surprisingly healthy gains," Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at the ICSC said in a statement.
And children's retailer Gymboree ( GYMB), while it no longer reports same-store sales figures, upped its second-quarter outlook by 10 cents, citing improved revenue and better cost controls. Gymboree now expects earnings in the range of 19 cents to 24 cents per share, from a prior forecast of 9 cents to 14 cents. And then there was the bad news. Fittingly enough, the first dark cloud comes from goth retailer Hot Topic ( HOTT) said it expects a larger loss in the second quarter of between 7 cents and 9 cents a share. It earlier expected to lose 4 cents to 6 cents a share. June same-store sales fell 7.9% at the chain. Contemporary chain Bebe Stores also said its fourth-quarter same-store sales tumbled a whopping 29.2% and now expects fourth quarter earnings at or below the low end of its previous forecast of 2 cents to 10 cents a share. And overall July isn't expected to be much better. The ICSC predicts about a 5% decline for the month.