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J.C. Penney profit surges in Q1

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Plano, Texas J.C. Penney Co. reported Friday that it generated a profit in its fiscal first quarter that more than doubled its results for the year-ago period.

For the quarter ended May 1, the department store retailer posted net income of $60 million, compared with $25 million a year earlier.

J.C. Penney benefited from increased sales and effective inventory controls.

Total revenue edged up 1.2% to $3.93 billion, in line with Wall Street expectations. Same-store sales rose 1.3%. 

"We know that our customers remain concerned about their budgets; however, they respond well to merchandise that's new and trend-right at compelling prices," Myron E. Ullman III, chairman and CEO, said in a statement. The retailer raised its full-year guidance on Friday, but even the higher forecast and the second-quarter outlook was muted because of the predicted restraints on consumer spending.

J.C. Penney said six of the seven merchandise divisions had revenue gains. The strongest areas were men's, shoes and handbags, and children's.

In April, J.C. Penney executives outlined a five-year plan that included increasing revenue by $5 billion by the end of fiscal 2014. It also said it aimed to have revenue of $23 billion by the end of that fiscal year, primarily by increasing sales at existing stores, rather than through expansion.

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