Market Focus

J.C Penney

J.C Penney posted a surprise quarterly loss after the bell. The retailer’s holiday quarter earnings disappointed. Revenue and same-store sales actually grew more than expected, but investors weren’t impressed. After the bell, shares initially plunged. Before the close, the stock was up 1.5 percent to $9.12.

Gap

Gap is forecasting a drop in profit for the year, blaming a stronger dollar and issues related to the slowdown at the West Coast ports. The company did approve a $1 billion buyback. That sent shares initially higher after hours. Before the close, the stock was up a few cents to $40.37.

Kohl’s

Kohl’s said its results in its holiday quarter topped estimates. It also hiked its dividend by 15 percent to 45 cents a share, which has a dividend of yield of about 2.5 percent. It’s also forecasting full-year sales above estimates. Shares were one percent higher to $71.96.

Sears

It was the opposite story for Sears. That retailer posted a loss, which was narrower than expected, but revenue missed. Same-store sales at its namesake stores and at K-Mart fell. Along with its earnings, the company said it’s proceeding with plans to split off a few hundred stores into a separately owned real estate company or REIT. The stock slumped almost five percent to $36.05.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble also announcing plans to shake things up. The bookstore chain will spin off its college books business from its retail and nook units. The separation is expected to be completed by august of this year and will create two independently publicly traded companies. The retailer says the move will allow for better strategy and focus. Shares popped almost seven percent to $25.92.

Anheuser-Busch

A big dividend and buyback announcement from Anheuser-Busch. The beer brewing giant raised its annual dividend by 46 percent and announced a $1 billion share buyback program. It’s also forecasting improved beer sales. That sent shares up about $3 to $127.49.

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