J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

said its third-quarter earnings will exceed the consensus estimate due to stronger October department store sales and higher operating profits in its drugstore division.

The company expects to earn 21 cents a share in the quarter. Analyst estimates for the quarter ranged from 17 cents to 21 cents a share, with a mean expectation of 19 cents a share.

The news follows the company's announcement last week that same-store sales in its department store division were trending above plan in October and should rise in the high-single-digit percentage for the month.

Since hitting $15.10 on Oct. 3, the shares are up more than 20% and closed Friday at $18.92.