Financial Reports: JC Penney, Urban Outfitters

Net Income Plummets at Penney
J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) saw total second-quarter sales slip 2.5%, to $4.28 billion, compared to $4.39 billion for the same period in 2007. Net income sank nearly 36%, to $117 million from $182 million for the second quarter last year. For the three months ended Aug. 2, same-store sales fell 4.3%; Internet sales increased 5.6%.

Chairman/CEO Myron E. Ullman III said in a release: “In this difficult consumer environment, we have continued to focus on tightly controlling all aspects of our business, and our second quarter results show the benefits of our approach. Our ability to protect our bottom line through rigorous expense control and effective inventory management was enhanced by good initial customer response to our new brand launches and the effectiveness of our promotional pricing actions.”

Ullman added that Penney’s Bridge Plan “allows us to efficiently manage our operations, while at the same time ensure that we continue to offer a great shopping experience at a time when consumers are more discriminating. We entered the Back-to-School season with the most exciting assortment in our history, including such new brands as Decree, Fabulosity and Dorm Life.”

Huge Second Quarter for Urban Outfitters
It’s good to be Urban Outfitters: Second-quarter direct-to-consumer sales for apparel and home decor merchant jumped 42% for the three months ended July 31. The company’s direct-to-consumer business includes the Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters catalogs. Direct-to-consumer sales reached $60.5 million, up from 42.5 million in the second quarter of 2007.

Urban Outfitters’ total company net sales rose 30%, to $365.7 million, compared to $281.7 million for the same period last year. What’s more, net income soared 79%, to $56.9 million, up from $31.8 million.

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