J.C. Penney Company First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. J. C. Penney is a holding company that offers merchandise and services to consumers through department stores and direct (Internet/catalog) channels.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for a loss of 8 cents per share, up from profit of 28 cents in the year-earlier quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 20 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 2 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $1.60 per share, a rise of 70.2% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company missed estimates last quarter after beating forecasts in the prior two. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company reported profit of 21 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 67 cents per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company beat estimates by 30 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a decline of 11.7% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $3.48 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about J.C. Penney Company with eight of 14 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company swung to a loss of $87 million (40 cents a share) from a profit of $271 million ($1.13) a year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue fell 4.9% to $5.42 billion from $5.7 billion.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is hoping to use this earnings announcement to snap a string of three-straight quarters of revenue declines. Revenue fell 0.8% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 4.8% in third quarter of the last fiscal year before falling again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 13, 2012 and May 9, 2012, the stock price fell $8.05 (-19.3%), from $41.76 to $33.71. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between November 25, 2011 and December 5, 2011, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 13.2% (+$3.87) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 11, 2011 and November 25, 2011 when shares fell for 10 straight days, dropping 12.7% (-$4.26) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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