Department store chain J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP) on Friday reported a turnaround to profit in the fourth quarter as a slight decline in sales was more than offset by lower expenses. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter beat analysts’ expectations, while revenues slightly missed their estimates.
Earlier today, J.C. Penny announced a plan to optimize its national retail operations as part of the company’s successful return to profitability. Under the plan, the company expects to close two distribution facilities and approximately 130 to 140 stores over the next few months.
As a result of the closure of stores, the company has decided to initiate a voluntary early retirement program for approximately 6,000 eligible associates. J.C. Penney expects annual cost savings of about $200 million from the actions.
The company’s fourth quarter net income was $192 million or $0.61 per…