J.C. Penney Q3 loss widens; encouraged by positive signs

Plano, Texas -- J.C. Penney posted a bigger-than-expected loss for its third quarter. But the struggling retailer pointed to hopeful signs that its business is starting to stabilize as its heads into the holiday season.

Penney reported a loss of $489 million in the three months ended Nov.2, compared with a loss of $123 million in the year ago period.

Sales fell 5.1% to $2.78 billion. Same-store sales were down 4.8%, but the period ended with its first monthly gain since December 2011. And online sales rose 24.5%, to $266 million.

“We are proud of the company’s October sales performance, encouraged by the early weeks of November,” Myron E. Ullman III, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.

In a statement released Wednesday, Penney CEO Myron Ullman said that he is "encouraged" by sales in the early weeks of November, and the company believes it is “making strides” toward