JC Penney is tanking after reporting an earnings loss

JC Penney reported third-quarter earnings on Friday morning, and the results beat expectations on the top and bottom lines.

Still, shares fell by as much as 9% in pre-market trading.

The retailer reported sales of $US2.9 billion, a 4.8% increase, versus Bloomberg’s consensus estimate of $US2.88 billion. The company posted an adjusted earnings per share loss of $US0.47, smaller than the estimate for $US0.56.

Comparable sales, at locations open for at least one year, rose 6.4%, beating the forecast for 5.6% growth.

It’s been a rough quarter for many retailers, as concerns mount about the industry.

Macy’s, the largest of the pack, reported a build in inventories that analysts said signalled broader concerns about department stores.

And as we noted yesterday via Modest Proposal, high fixed costs, changing consumer tastes, and low barriers to entry are all headwinds.

Here’s a chart showing the drop in shares, which are up 36% year-to-date:

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