This story has been updated from 12:10 pm EST with stock price change.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) - J.C. Penney (JCP) shares plummeted 10.6% to $5.08 on Tuesday after it reported comparable sales for the fourth-quarter rose 2%. This is the first time since the second-quarter of 2011 that the struggling department store chain generated a positive quarterly sales result, but apparently the growth was not enough to impress investors.
The Plano, Texas-based company said for the nine-week November and December period, comparable store sales rose 3.1% over the same period last year. Sales via jcp.com jumped approximately 26.3%.
J.C. Penney closed its 2013 fiscal year with total available liquidity in excess of $2 billion.
"While 2013 brought a lot of change and challenges to JCPenney, the steady improvements in our business show that the company's turnaround is on track. In spite of the significant headwinds facing all retailers this season, including unprecedented harsh weather conditions in many parts of the country, we delivered on our promise to generate positive comparable store sales growth in the fourth quarter," J.C. Penney's CEO Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III said in a statement.
J.C. Penney reported "solid performance" in several categories including, beauty (Sephora), activewear, sweaters, outerwear, dresses, boots, men's clothing, luggage and housewares.
The news comes as the struggling retailer spooked investors last week when it reported simply that it was "pleased" with its holiday sales performance and that customers "responded well to the company's offerings this holiday shopping season, both in store and online." The company had reaffirmed its outlook for the fourth quarter of sequential and year-over-year improvement of fourth-quarter sales comps and in gross margin.