by Brian Lipton

Texas-based retailer JCPenney announced financial results for its fiscal second quarter ended July 29, 2017.

For the second quarter, the company’s net loss was $62 million, or $0.20 per share, compared to a net loss of $56 million, or $0.18 per share in the same period last year. Adjusted net loss was $28 million, or $0.09 per share, for the second quarter this year compared to an adjusted net loss of $16  million, or $0.05 per share, last year. Total net sales increased 1.5 percent to $3.0 billion in the second quarter compared to $2.9 billion in the same period last year, while comparable sales declined 1.3 percent for the second quarter.

Investors reacted unfavorably to the news, as the stock lost over 18 percent of its value by noon on Friday

“While broader retail remains challenged, we are encouraged by the improved performance in our total apparel business, including a significant acceleration in kids’ apparel,” said Marvin Ellison, the company’s chairman and CEO. “Nearly all categories delivered improved sales results during the quarter, with our growth initiatives in beauty, home refresh and omni-channel continuing to deliver positive sales growth.”

Ellison continued, “During the second quarter, we liquidated inventory in 127 of our closing stores which had a negative impact on gross margin and EPS. These events were isolated to the second quarter.  As such, we are reaffirming our EPS guidance for the year, and remain confident in our ability to further strengthen our balance sheet, while driving sustainable growth and long-term profitability for JCPenney. To that end, we are pleased that we are off to a strong start in August for the all-important back to school season. We are excited by this momentum and expect to deliver improved results in the back half of the year.”