Shares of JCPenney are headed higher in pre-market trading following the release of Q3 earnings results this morning.
The embattled retailer reported an adjusted loss of $US1.81 per share in Q3, which may not compare with the consensus estimate for a $US1.74 loss per share, as it includes a $US0.73 loss per share on tax valuation allowance.
Revenues came in at $US2.78 billion, below the consensus $US2.80 billion estimate.
Despite a 4.8% drop in same-store sales in Q3, the company believes same-store sales trends will improve in Q4. In October, same-store sales were up 0.9%.
Currently, shares are up 7.7%.
Below is the full text of the release:
Sales Performance Continues to Improve as Company Makes Strides toward a Path to Profitable Growth
PLANO, Texas, November 20, 2013 — J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) today announced financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended November 2, 2013. Highlights include:
Achieved positive comparable store sales in October
Comparable store sales and gross margin improved sequentially throughout the quarter
Sales on jcp.com increased 24.5% for the quarter
Repaid $US200 million from revolving credit facility
Opened 30 new Sephora inside JCPenney locations, bringing total to 446
Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, Chief Executive Officer of JCPenney, said, “Our strategies to reconnect with customers are beginning to take hold, and this became increasingly clear as the quarter progressed. This is the result of the tremendous efforts of the associates across our Company to restore the merchandise customers want and deliver an unmatched shopping experience. We are proud of the Company’s October sales performance, encouraged by the early weeks of November, and believe we are making strides toward a path to long-term profitable growth.”
For the third quarter, JCPenney reported net sales of $US2.78 billion compared to $US2.93 billion in the fiscal third quarter of 2012. Comparable store sales declined 4.8% for the quarter, which represented a sequential improvement of 710 basis points when compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2013. The quarter ended with a positive 0.9% comparable store sales gain in October. In addition, sales results improved sequentially each month within the quarter. Online sales through jcp.com were $US266 million for the quarter, up 24.5% versus the same period last year and reflecting sequential increases through the quarter.
Women’s apparel, men’s apparel and fine jewelry were the Company’s top performing merchandise divisions.
For the third quarter, gross margin was 29.5% of sales, compared to 32.5% in the same quarter last year. Gross margin for the third quarter was negatively impacted by lower clearance margins due to the overhang of inventory from the first two quarters of the year, higher levels of clearance units sold, as well as the Company’s transition back to a promotional pricing strategy as compared to last year’s strategy. Notwithstanding, gross margin did improve sequentially throughout the quarter.
SG&A expenses for the quarter were approximately $US1 billion, down 1.9% from the previous quarter and down 7.5% from the third quarter of 2012.
Operating loss for the fiscal third quarter of 2013 was $US401 million. The Company incurred $US46 million in restructuring and management transition charges, as follows:
Home office and stores: ($6) million;
Store fixtures: $US10 million;
Management transition: $US3 million; and
Other: $US39 million, including $US36 million relating to the return of shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia previously acquired by the Company.
In the third quarter, the Company’s recognised tax benefit was $US11 million reflecting a significant reduction in tax benefits typically recognised from federal and state loss carry-forwards due to the recognition of a tax valuation allowance of $US184 million during the quarter. This resulted in an effective tax rate of only 2.2% for the third quarter compared to 41.7% in the third quarter of 2012 and negatively impacted earnings per share by $US0.73.
For the third quarter, the Company incurred a net loss in the amount of $US489 million or $US1.94 per share. This reflects:
($0.73) of loss associated with the tax valuation allowance;
($0.18) of restructuring and management transition charges;
($0.04) for primary pension plan expense; and
$0.09 of benefit on the net gain on the sale of a non-operating asset.
Adjusted net loss for the quarter was $US457 million, or $US1.81 per share, excluding the restructuring and management transition charges, primary pension plan expense, and net gain on the sale of a non-operating asset. A reconciliation of GAAP to non-GAAP financial measures is included in the schedules accompanying the consolidated financial statements in this release.
The adjusted net loss of $US1.81 per share includes the $US0.73 of loss associated with the tax valuation allowance.
Cash Flow and Financial Condition
Operating cash flow was a use of $US737 million, reflecting net operating losses and an increase of $US592 million in inventory, which includes our typical seasonal build in inventory in preparation for the holiday season. Financing cash flow was a source of $US557 million, reflecting the net proceeds from the Company’s equity offering of $US786 million. In addition, financing cash flow included a voluntary repayment of $US200 million principal amount under the Company’s revolving credit facility.
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the third quarter were $US1.227 billion. The Company’s total available liquidity, which includes cash and cash equivalents as well as the availability under the Company’s revolving credit facility, was $US1.71 billion at quarter end. Total debt at the end of the quarter was $US5.612 billion, including $US650 million outstanding on the Company’s revolving credit facility.
In the third quarter, the Company paid $US161 million in capital expenditures. Accrued and unpaid expenditures were $US102 million at the end of the quarter.
Mr. Ullman continued, “The spirit and determination of our associates has enabled us to maintain our momentum going into the fourth quarter. We are committed to building on our progress by winning this holiday season. The continued strong support of our domestic and international suppliers has helped ensure our merchandise assortment is outstanding. Furthermore, our new marketing campaign, which launched this week, will help remind customers that JCPenney is the destination for great holiday gifts that fit their budget.”
The Company’s current outlook for the fourth quarter of 2013 is as follows:
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 $US165 million;
Interest expense is expected to be in line with third quarter;
Capital expenditures are expected to be approximately $US175 million in the fourth quarter including accrued and unpaid expenditures and approximately $US300 million for fiscal 2014;
Inventory is expected to be approximately $US2.85 billion at year end;
Total available liquidity is expected to be in excess of $US2 billion at year end.
Third Quarter 2013 Earnings Conference Call Details
At 8:30 a.m. ET today, the Company will host a live conference call conducted by Chief Executive Officer Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, and Chief Financial Officer Ken Hannah. Management will discuss the Company’s performance during the quarter and take questions from participants. To access the conference call, please dial (866) 318-8617, or (617) 399-5136 for international callers, and reference 56471359 participant code or visit the Company’s investor relations website at http://ir.jcpenney.com.
Telephone playback will be available for 90 days beginning approximately two hours after the conclusion of the meeting by dialling (888) 286-8010, or (617) 801-6888 for international callers and referencing 60221800 participant code.
Investors and others should note that we currently announce material information using SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls and webcasts. In the future, we will continue to use these channels to distribute material information about the Company and may also utilise our website and/or various social media to communicate important information about the Company, key personnel, new brands and services, trends, new marketing campaigns, corporate initiatives and other matters. Information that we post on our website or on social media channels could be deemed material; therefore, we encourage investors, the media, our customers, business partners and others interested in our Company to review the information we post on our website as well as the following social media channels:
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/jcp) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/jcpnews).
Any updates to the list of social media channels we may use to communicate material information will be posted on the Investor Relations page of the Company’s website at www.jcp.com.
(972) 431-3400 or [email protected]
(972) 431-5500 or [email protected]
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP), one of the nation’s largest apparel and home furnishing retailers, is dedicated to becoming America’s preferred retail destination for unmatched style, quality and value. Across approximately 1,100 stores and at jcp.com, customers will discover an inspiring shopping environment that features the most sought after collection of private, national and exclusive brands and attractions. For more information, please visit jcp.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “expect” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which include, but are not limited to, statements regarding sales trends, year-end liquidity and the Company’s outlook for the holiday season. Forward-looking statements are based only on the Company’s current assumptions and views of future events and financial performance. They are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are outside of the Company’s control, that may cause the Company’s actual results to be materially different from planned or expected results. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, including inflation, recession, unemployment levels, consumer confidence and spending patterns, credit availability and debt levels, changes in store traffic trends, the cost of goods, more stringent or costly payment terms and/or the decision by a significant number of vendors not to sell us merchandise on a timely basis or at all, trade restrictions, the ability to monetise non-core assets on acceptable terms, the ability to implement our turnaround strategy, customer acceptance of our new strategies, our ability to attract, motivate and retain key executives and other associates, the impact of cost reduction initiatives, our ability to generate or maintain liquidity, implementation of new systems and platforms, changes in tariff, freight and shipping rates, changes in the cost of fuel and other energy and transportation costs, increases in wage and benefit costs, competition and retail industry consolidations, interest rate fluctuations, dollar and other currency valuations, the impact of weather conditions, risks associated with war, an act of terrorism or pandemic, the ability of the federal government to fund and conduct its operations, a systems failure and/or security breach that results in the theft, transfer or unauthorised disclosure of customer, employee or Company information and legal and regulatory proceedings. There can be no assurances that the Company will achieve expected results, and actual results may be materially less than expectations. Please refer to the Company’s most recent Form 10-Q and subsequent filings for a further discussion of risks and uncertainties. Investors should take such risks into account and should not rely on forward-looking statements when making investment decisions. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We do not undertake to update these forward-looking statements as of any future date.