J.C. Penney profit flat and forecasts Q3 sales gains

NEW YORK ― J.C. Penney Co. Inc. reported a flat quarterly profit on Friday as sales were dampened by its exit from its catalog business, and the retailer became the latest department store chain to forecast continued sales gains in the current quarter.

The company reported net income stayed steady at $14 million, or 7 cents per share, for the second quarter ended July 30, compared with a year earlier.

As previously reported, net sales were down 0.8 percent to $3.91 billion, while same-store sales were up 1.5 percent.

Penney expects sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, to rise between 2 percent and 3 percent in the third quarter.

Penney forecast earnings per share in the quarter will range between 15 and 20 cents, including a 5 cent restructuring charge.