J.C. Penney Facing SEC Inquiry on Finances

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP) revealed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating its liquidity, debt and other financial matters, including sales of company shares in September that the retailer is using to fund store improvements.

The inquiry was announced in a filing late Thursday, Dec. 5. J.C. Penney said it received a letter from the SEC in October asking for the retailer's financial information. The company is cooperating with the U.S. regulatory body on its request and providing the necessary documentation.

On Sept. 26, J.C. Penney announced an offering to sell as much as $932 million of new shares amid a turnaround effort. Since then, shareholders have filed several lawsuits related to the matter.

J.C. Penney's third quarter performance was disappointing, as the company incurred a net loss of $489 million compared with last year's loss of $123 million. However, the company has also reported two consecutive months of same-store sales growth, a glimmer of hope going into the holiday season.

J.C. Penney shares slid almost 3 percent in after-hours trading Thursday, to just over $8.50 a share.

For more see:
This USA Today article
This Bloomberg article

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