Eckerd Sale Trims Penney Net Income

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The sale of the Eckerd drugstore operation cut into first-quarter net income reported yesterday by J.C. Penney Company Inc., Plano, TX.


Income from continuing operations totaled $118 million in the 13 weeks ended May 1 compared with $20 million in the comparable period ended April 26, 2003. However, the first-quarter loss from discontinued operations included a charge of $77 million, resulting in net income totaling $41 million compared with $61 million a year ago.


First-quarter operating profit was up to $229 million versus $84 million last year. Also, comparable department store sales increased 9.5 percent along with a 6.5 percent rise in the catalog/Internet segment.


Net department stores and catalog/Internet sales totaled $4.03 billion. The total a year ago was $3.71 billion.


Other DMers reporting results yesterday included:


· Staples Inc., Framingham, MA, said company sales rose to $3.45 billion for its first quarter ended May 1, up 12 percent from $3.09 billion in the same quarter of the previous year.


· United Retail Group Inc., Rochelle Park, NJ, said that for its first quarter ended May 1, net sales totaled $97.5 million, down from $101.5 million in the prior-year period. Comparable-store sales fell 2 percent. It posted a net loss in the quarter of $3.4 million compared with a net loss of $4.5 million in the comparable quarter last year.


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