J.C. Penney (JCP) Stock Up In After-Hours Trading Following Earnings Release

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of J.C. Penney Co (JCP) are higher by 3.1% to $8.98 in after-hours trading Wednesday, following the company's first quarter earnings release.

For the quarter, J.C. Penney posted a narrower than expected loss of 57 cents per share, compared to the loss of 76 cents per share consensus estimate, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Revenue came in at $2.86 billion for the period, matching the $2.86 billion analysts were expecting.

In the same quarter of last year, the retailer posted a loss of $1.16 per share on sales of $2.8 billion.

For the first quarter, J.C. Penney posted same store sales growth of 3.4%, just missing the consensus estimate of a 3.5% rise year over year.

Still, the company raised its full year margin and same store sales guidance. It now expects comp sales to rise between 4% to 5%, up from its prior guidance of a rise of between 3% to 5%.

The retailer now expects gross margin to improve between 100 to 150 basis points, up from its previous guidance of 50 to 100 basis points.

Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney is a holding company with its business consisting of selling merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores and its Internet site.

The company sells family apparel and footwear, accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, beauty products through Sephora inside J.C. Penney, and home furnishings.

Insight from TheStreet's Research Team:

Michael Khouw commented on J.C. Penney in a recent post on ActionAlertsOPTIONS.com. During the most recent weekly roundup, this is what Khouw had to say about the stock:

What to Watch: Management is looking for same-store sales growth of 4%. Out of all the stocks we expect to mention this week, JCP has the highest implied move relative to its historical, and that is not surprising. The key is how much ground does JCP have to cover coming off of the disastrous Ron Johnson era, as brief as it was, and regain market share.

The current management team has made cost cuts, but in a business that is highly competitive and low margin, JCP still needs to work on its high store count and analysts argue even more aggressive restructuring needs to take place.

-Michael Khouw, 'Weekly Roundup' originally published 5/11/2015 on ActionAlertsOPTIONS.com.

Want more information like this from Michael Khouw and TheStreet Research Team BEFORE your stock moves? Learn more about ActionAlertsOPTIONS.com now.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PENNEY (J C) CO as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PENNEY (J C) CO (JCP) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, poor profit margins and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."

You can view the full analysis from the report here: JCP Ratings Report

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