J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) Q3 2017 earnings results were released before opening bell this morning, and the retailer reported adjusted losses of 33 cents per share on $2.81 billion in sales. Analysts had been looking for adjusted losses of 42 cents per share on $2.77 billion in revenue. In last year’s third quarter, J C Penney reported $2.86 billion in sales and adjusted net losses of 21 cents per share.

J C Penney q3 2017 earnings
By J.C. Penney (Brand New design website See article here) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

J C Penney Q3 2017 earnings

On a GAAP basis, net losses amounted to $128 million or 41 cents per share, versus the year-ago losses of $67 million or 22 cents per share. Adjusted EBIDA fell to $108 million from $174 million a year ago. J C Penney’s comparable store sales grew 1.7% year over year, coming out greatly ahead of the consensus at growth of 0.5%.

“We are encouraged that we delivered positive sales comps for the third quarter,” Chairman and CEO Marvin Ellison said in a statement about the J C Penney Q3 2017 earnings results. “Our growth strategies and new apparel initiatives led to sequential comp sales improvement in nearly all merchandise categories in the third quarter, giving us confidence that our overall strategy and transformation is beginning to take hold.  While we have more work to do, we remain focused on two critical factors — to operate the business for growth and deliver positive earnings.”

The company’s Home, Sephora, Footwear and Handbags, Women’s Specialty, and Salon were the top divisions during the third quarter. The Gulf Coast and the Midwest were the retailer’s standout geographic regions.

J C Penney offers guidance

The department store operator also offered full-year guidance for fiscal 2017. J C Penney expects comparable store sales to be down 1% to flat and adjusted earnings per share to be between 2 cents and 8 cents per share. The company expects free cash flow to be $200 million to $300 million for the full year.

Following the J C Penney Q3 2017 earnings release, the company’s stock skyrocketed in premarket trading, climbing by as much as 16% to $3.19 per share.