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JC Penney Shares Hit Record Low as Its Quarterly Loss More Than Doubles

J.C. Penney (JCP) on Friday joined other department store chains in reporting a steeper-than-expected drop in same-store sales for the first quarter, sending the company’s shares tumbling 12% to a record low in premarket trading.

Macy’s (M) and Kohl’s (KSS) on Thursday had also reported weak sales, underscoring the struggle by brick-and-mortar retailers to attract customers amid a slump in demand for apparel and the shift to shopping online.

J.C. Penney’s net loss widened to $180 million, or 58 cents per share, in the quarter ended April 29, from $68 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned a profit of 6 cents per share, helped by higher selling margins and lower costs of marketing and incentive compensation.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 21 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales at stores open more than a year dropped 3.5%, steeper than the 0.7% decline, according to the average of analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.

Net sales fell 3.7% to $2.71 billion, declining for the third straight quarter and marginally missing the average analyst estimate of $2.77 billion.

The company’s shares were down about 12% at $4.65 premarket on Friday, set to hit a record low in regular trading.