In the continuing escalation in his attack on Amazon, President Donald Trump issued an executive order yesterday for the establishment of a federal task force, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin or his designee, to investigate the finances of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), which has lost more than $65 billion during the past 11 consecutive fiscal years. The special commission is expected to submit a report on its findings and recommendations within 120 days. Some pundits argue that President Trump's tweets against the online retail juggernaut are politically driven, given that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which has been highly critical of Trump and his policies. Trump's ongoing public statements and tweets against Amazon, and how the online retailer is destroying the traditional brick-and-mortar retail industry, have negatively impacted Amazon's stock price. The main drag on USPS finances, in reality, has been the mandate that it pre-fund its retiree health care obligations to the tune of more than $38 billion. For the first time, last year the Postal Service missed payments it owes to the federal retirement system, for a combined total of $6.9 billion. Click Read More below for additional information.
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) today announced financial results for its third quarter ended Oct. 29, 2016. Comparable sales were (0.8) % for the third quarter, providing a two-year stack of 5.6 %. Net loss improved 42 % versus the prior year to $(67) million.
“We are pleased to see strong sales performance in the growth initiatives we discussed at our most recent analyst meeting. The results of these initiatives are reflected in a positive sales comp in the month of October, driven by over 200 basis points of comp benefit from our 500 new appliance showrooms. We view our October sales results – specifically our acceleration in the last two weeks of the month – and the benefit from appliances as examples of what we expect for the balance of the fourth quarter. Despite experiencing softness in apparel sales, we are continuing to improve the bottom line of our business thanks to the commitment and hard work of our over 100,000 Associates.”
Ellison continued, “We are excited about the initiatives we have in place to drive incremental growth during the Holiday Season with our increased appliance penetration, new Sephora locations, free same day pick up for online orders, a strong cadence of promotional events and our new lowest price guarantee. We are also thrilled about delivering a 200 basis point improvement in our private label credit card penetration in the third quarter, which led to our highest penetration in many years. These and other initiatives reinforce our confidence in our ability to achieve $1 billion in EBITDA for 2016.”
For the quarter, Sephora, Home, Salon and Fine Jewelry were the Company’s top performing divisions. Geographically, the Pacific and Northwest were the best performing regions of the country.
For the third quarter, gross margin was 37.2 % of sales, a 10 basis point decline compared to the same period last year.
SG&A expenses for the quarter decreased $59 million to $888 million, or 31.1 % of sales, representing a 160 basis point improvement from last year. These savings were primarily driven by lower corporate overhead, incentive compensation and store controllable costs.
For the third quarter, the Company delivered a 42 % improvement in net loss over the prior year to $(67) million or $(0.22) per share. Adjusted earnings per share improved 54 % to a loss of $(0.21) per share for the third quarter this year compared to a loss of $(0.46) per share last year
EBITDA improved $36 million to $172 million for the quarter, a 26 % improvement from the same period last year. Adjusted EBITDA improved 57 % to $174 million, a $63 million improvement from the same period last year.
more at: http://ir.jcpenney.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=70528&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2221744