J.C. Penney Co. Inc. CEO Myron E. Ullman III sees signs of the economy rebounding, he said today in a teleconference.
“As we look at the (rest) of the year the economy remains uncertain, but we have some encouraging signs,” Mr. Ullman said. “We’ve seen improvement in the capital markets, some indications home prices have stabilized and homes are selling … and some slight improvement in reported unemployment data last month … albeit overall consumer demand is still lagging.”
The “timing of the economic recovery continues to create uncertainty and angst among consumers, who realize they may need to save more than they originally planned,” he said.
“We are more confident going to (the last part of the year) than we were in the (previous three months),” he added.
Penney’s pension expense was $73 million in the quarter ended Aug. 1, compared to pension earnings of $33 million in the same period a year earlier.
Robert B. Cavanaugh executive vice president and CFO of the Plano, Texas, company, said Penney will have $298 million in pension expense for its full fiscal year, ending Jan. 31, 2010. By contrast, it had $90 million in pension income for its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, according to its 10-K report.
The company had an estimated $4.1 billion in defined benefit pension assets as of June.