J.C. Penney Company, Inc. comparable department store sales increased 3.6% for the four weeks ended April 30, 2005, on top of a 5.3% increase last year. Original expectations were for comparable store sales to be flat to up slightly. Total department store sales increased 4.7% in the April period.

All merchandise divisions and all regions of the country generated positive comparable store sales increases for the month, with the best sales performance in family shoes, home and women's accessories. From a regional perspective, the northeast produced the strongest performance. Catalog/Internet sales increased 12.5%, exceeding expectations for a low- to mid-single digit increase, and on top of essentially flat sales last year. Internet sales continued to experience strong growth, increasing approximately 45% for the month.

For the May period, the company expects comparable department store sales to increase low-single digits and catalog/Internet sales to increase mid- to high-single digits. In last year's May period, comparable department store sales increased 9.1% and catalog/Internet sales were flat.

Based on April sales performance, the company now expects first quarter earnings of approximately $0.61 per share. For the second quarter, management expects earnings to be in the range of $0.25 to $0.30 per share and now expects full year earnings to be in the range of $2.94 to $3.06 per share.

Through April 30, 2005, the company repurchased 7.7 million shares of its common stock in fiscal 2005. Since initiating the capital structure repositioning program in 2004, the company has repurchased approximately 58 million shares of common stock for approximately $2.3 billion. The company has authorization to repurchase approximately $1.4 billion of additional common stock, which it expects to complete by the end of 2005. The company currently expects average diluted shares for the second quarter to be in the range of 263 to 266 million shares and 255 to 260 million shares for the full year. In addition, during the first quarter, the company purchased $194 million of its outstanding debt in open market transactions.

                      Preliminary Sales Summary
                           ($ in millions)

                            Period ended             % Increase
                      ------------------------ -----------------------
                        Apr. 30,     May 1,    All Stores  Comparable
                          2005         2004                  Stores
                      ------------ ----------- ----------- -----------

4 Weeks
Department stores          $1,157      $1,105         4.7         3.6
Catalog/Internet              198         176        12.5
                      ------------ -----------
Total Company              $1,355      $1,281         5.8

13 Weeks
Department stores          $3,534      $3,408         3.7         3.0
Catalog/Internet              659         625         5.4
                      ------------ -----------
Total Company              $4,193      $4,033         4.0