J. C. Penney beats by $0.10, reports revs in-line; guides FY19 EPS within range, midpoint below consensus, sees comps +0-2%
- Reports Q4 (Jan) earnings of $0.57 per share, excluding non-recurring items, $0.10 better thanthe Capital IQ Consensus of $0.47; revenues rose 1.8% year/year to $4.03 bln vs the $4.04 bln Capital IQ Consensus.
- Comparable sales increased 2.6% in the fourth quarter and were on the same 13 week basis as the fourth quarter last year (reported holiday comps +3.4% on January 4). Jewelry, Home, Sephora, Footwear and Handbags and Salon were the Company's top performing divisions during the quarter. Geographically, the Southeast and Gulf Coast were the best performing regions of the country.
- Gross margin +50 bps to 33.6% The improvement was primarily driven by decreased promotional activity during the quarter resulting from an improved inventory position. This improvement was partially offset by the continued growth in the Company's online and major appliance businesses and higher shrink rates.
- Co issues guidance for FY19, sees EPS of $0.05-0.25, excluding non-recurring items, vs. $0.23 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; comps +0-2% vs. ests +0.8% and +0.1% last year.
- "In 2018, we will intensify our market share efforts in Appliances, Mattresses and Furniture, while continuing to take steps to modernize our apparel assortment and omni-channel. Our strategy and plan is clear and consistent, and we remain focused on two critical factors - to operate the business for growth and deliver profitable earnings."