JC Penney reported that it was “pleased with its performance for the holiday period, showing continued progress in its turnaround efforts,” with a good response in store and online. The retailer didn't provide any more specifics on December's sales but reaffirmed its outlook for the fourth quarter of 2013, as
previously set out in the company's third quarter earnings release dated
Nov. 20, 2013.

On Nov. 30, the department store chain's outlook included:

  • Comparable store sales and gross margin are expected to improve sequentially and year over year;
  • SG&A expenses are expected to be below last year's levels;
  • Depreciation and amortization is expected to be approximately $165 million;
  • Interest expense is expected to be in line with third quarter;
  • Capital
    expenditures are expected to be approximately $175 million in the
    fourth quarter including accrued and unpaid expenditures and
    approximately $300 million for fiscal 2014;
  • Inventory is expected to be approximately $2.85 billion at year end.

On Dec. 3, Penney indicated that in its month ending Nov. 30, comparable store sales grew 10.1 percent over last year. E-commerce sales through jcp.com were also strong in November, running well ahead of last year, consistent with October's month's trend.