Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Penney Co., Wal-Mart, Woolworth Post Gains

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Penney Co., Wal-Mart, Woolworth Post Gains

Article excerpt

J.C. Penney Co., the nation's third largest retailer, said Tuesday its fiscal second-quarter profit jumped 53.3 percent over a year ago because it had solid sales gains and fewer markdowns.

No. 5 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted a 33.5 percent gain. F.W. Woolworth Co., ranked seventh, said its profit jumped 30 percent.

The smaller Zayre Corp. said its profit plummeted 43.5 percent because of disappointing sales and margins.

Penney, which is based in New York, said its net income for the three months ended July 26 came to $46 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with $30 million, or 40 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Sales increased 6.9 percent to $3.22 billion from $3.01 billion.

For the first six months of its year, Penney said net income jumped 36 percent to $109 million, or $1.44 a share, from $80 million, or $1.07 a share.

Half-year sales rose 7.7 percent to $6.27 billion from $5.82 billion.

Penney Chairman William Howell said that gross margin continued to improve in the quarter and first half as a result of lower markdowns and favorable sales perfomances by its stores and catalogs.

Selling, general and administrative expenses, as a percent of sales, continued to decrease for both periods, reflecting tight expense controls, he said.

Howell said the company expects a the improvement in sales and operating performance to continue in the second half of 1986.

Retailers generally operate on a fiscal year that begins in February.

Fast-growing Wal Mart, which has headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., said its second quarter net income came to $95.86 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with $71.81 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago.

Sales soared 43.5 percent to $2.77 billion from $1.93 billion.

For the six months, net income gained 37 percent to $169.2 million, or 60 cents a share, from $123.5 million, or 44 cents a share. …

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