The department stores have gone through a few rough quarters. That hasn’t made the road to recovery any easier for the struggling J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP).

J. C. Penney hasn’t reported a profitable 3 month period since the fourth quarter of 2012. In February J. C. Penney reported a break-even quarter, it’s best period in 3 years. However, analysts were expecting the company to earn a positive 13 cents per share.

J. C. Penney was close to reaching profitability last quarter, but estimates don’t show the department store making money anytime soon. Wall Street expects J. C. Penney to finally turn a profit in the fourth quarter of this year when the holiday shopping season comes back around.


The discount retailer is scheduled to announce first quarter earnings Wednesday after the market closes. Wall Street analysts expect the company to report a loss of 79 cents per share on $2.87 billion in revenue. Contributing analysts on Estimize are looking for a report that shows slightly better revenue of $2.89 billion and a moderately smaller loss at only 73 cents per share.

Overall Estimize contributors are expecting business to improve for the department stores this quarter. On average Estimize contributors expect companies in the multiline retail sector of the S&P 500 index (which JCP is no longer a part of) to improve earnings by 9.7% and for revenues to increase by 4.0%.


Comparatively, Estimize contributors expect J. C. Penney to cut its first quarter loss by 37% and increase its sales by 3%. It’s good that J. C. Penney is cutting costs, but for a company which is supposed to be recovering the fact that its revenue growth is expected to trail its sector is troubling.

J. C. Penney still hasn’t fully recovered from the days when short-lived CEO Ron Johnson eliminated sales and coupons in favor of everyday low prices. Despite the fact that fundamental growth is movingly very slowly, the company’s shares are up 37% since the start of the year.