NEW YORK — Even though J.C. Penney’s latest results show the beleaguered retailer is hardly out of the woods, investors still see reasons to cheer.
The department store chain’s shares rose 6 percent on Wednesday after it reported its seventh straight quarter of big losses that together total more than $2.4 billion. So why are investors celebrating?
The company began its big downward spiral during an ill-fated transformation strategy under former CEO Ron Johnson, who was fired in April after 17 months on the job. Now, experts say investors are encouraged that Mike Ullman, who took the top job after having led the retailer for seven years before, is beginning to stabilize the business.
Penney lost $489 million, or $1.94 per share, in the three months that ended on Nov. 2. That compares with a loss of $123 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company’s adjusted loss was $1.81 per share. And revenue fell 5.1 percent to $2.78 billion. That compares with the loss of $1.74 per share on revenue of $2.79 billion that analysts were expecting.
Revenue at stores open at least a year, an indicator of a retailer’s health, fell 4.8 percent for the quarter compared with a year ago. But investors seemed to focus on hopeful words from the company.
Penney said sales and margins have been improving in the latest quarter and that it saw encouraging signs in early November.