J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has just revised its sales and earnings guidance for the first quarter. Of course it is to the downside. The guidance reflects incremental weakness in the consumer spending environment and sales through Easter have run well below expectations.
JCPenney now sees a low-double digit comparable store sales decline for March and sees a high-single digit decline for the first quarter. It now sees earnings at approximately $0.50 per share. This is well below its prior guidance for both March and first quarter sales to decline low-single digits and first quarter earnings to be in the range of $0.75 to $0.80 per share.
Shares closed at $40.52 yesterday, and they are now indicating down slightly under $36.00 in reaction. The 52-week trading range is $33.27 to $84.70.
This news is also taking down stock indications on competitors as Dillards’ Inc. (NYSE: DDS) is seeing shares indicated down 2% to 3% and Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) shares are indicated down about 5% in pre-market hours this Friday. Mid-level retail spending doesn’t look like it is coming out of the dark yet.
Jon C. Ogg
March 28, 2008