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J.C.PENNEY REPORTS 70.1 PERCENT INCREASE IN FIRST QUARTER NET INCOME

 J.C.PENNEY REPORTS 70.1 PERCENT INCREASE IN FIRST QUARTER NET INCOME
 DALLAS, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- J. C. Penney Company, Inc.(NYSE: JCP) reported today that net income in the first quarter was $136 million, or $1.04 per share, an increase of 70.1 percent, from $80 million, or 61 cents per share, in the same 1991 period.
 In the quarter, gross margin dollars improved 9.8 percent on a 10.5 percent increase in retail sales. Unit sales also accelerated significantly in all four merchandise divisions, reflecting a well balanced mix of basic items and value oriented fashion merchandise. As a percent of retail sales, gross margin declined slightly.
 Selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses continued to be well managed, rising $34 million or 2.9 percent from last year's first quarter. Advertising costs increased $24 million in the quarter due to expenditures associated with the national television advertising campaign and increased distribution of circulars. As a percent of retail sales, SG&A expenses declined significantly to 31.5 percent from 33.8 per cent in the same 1991 period.
 The company's life and health insurance, banking, and real estate businesses recorded strong profit gains in the first quarter.
 Interest expense declined in the period compared with the previous year due to the impact of programs implemented to take advantage of lower interest rates.
 Commenting on first quarter results, Chairman William R. Howell said, "The turnaround in the nation's economy, which we noted in the fourth quarter of 1991, coupled with the more recent uptick in consumer confidence bodes well for retailing generally. JCPenney has the right merchandise and a strong value message for today's consumers, and we expect our performance will continue to improve as the year progresses."
 J. C. PENNEY COMPANY, INC.
 and Subsidiaries
 Summary of Business Results
 (Amounts in millions except per share data)
 13 weeks ended
 Apr. 25, Apr. 27, Percent Inc.
 1992 1991 (Dec.)
 Retail sales $ 3,793 $ 3,433 10.5
 TFIFO gross margin 1,294 1,178 9.8
 LIFO credit (charge) 0 (6)
 LIFO gross margin 1,294 1,172 10.4
 Selling, general and
 administrative expenses (1,195) (1,161) 2.9
 Finance charge revenue 157 177 (10.9)
 Interest expense, net (69) (75) (8.0)
 Profits of other businesses 32 14 118.3
 Pretax income 219 127 72.7
 Income taxes (83) (47) 77.1
 Net income (A) 136 80 70.1
 Earnings per share*
 Primary $ 1.09 $ .61
 Fully diluted $ 1.04 $ .61
 (A) First quarter earnings in 1991 do not include a charge of $184 million or $1.58 per share fully diluted for the cumulative effect of an accounting change for postretirement health care benefits made last year.
 SUPPLEMENTAL DATA
 Average Shares
 Primary 117.0 116.8
 Fully diluted 129.0 128.4
 FIFO gross margin
 percent retail sales 34.1 34.3
 SG&A percent
 retail sales 31.5 33.8
 Effective income tax
 rate 38.0 37.0
 Total receivables
 serviced 3,949 4,350
 FIFO inventory 3,340 3,061
 -0- 5/12/92
 /CONTACT: Duncan Muir of JCPenney, 214-591-1329/
 (JCP) CO: J.C. Penney Company Inc. ST: Texas IN: REA SU: ERN


SH -- NY026 -- 9007 05/12/92 09:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 12, 1992
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