J.C. Penney’s (JCP, -18.68%) turnaround has officially turned around.
The department store’s shares fell 22% on Friday morning to less than $4—heading for a new all-time low when trading opens—after it reported a fourth straight quarter of comparable sales declines and a wider net loss hurt by how cheaply it has sold items in liquidation from the dozens of stores it has closed.
The company tried to put a brave face on it with CEO Marvin Ellison touting “significant acceleration” in its kids’ apparel and a purportedly strong start to back-to-school, but investors were having none of it, concerned by Penney’s ability to get any leverage from its manifold efforts to revive the once iconic chain’s fortunes.
Penney, which has closed 127 of its 1,000-plus stores in the last year, saw its net loss net loss widen to $62 million, or 20 cents per share, in the second quarter ended July 29, from $56 million, or 18 cents per share, a year earlier. So far this year, Penney has had a net loss of $242 million, almost twice what it was at the end of the second quarter last year.