J.C. Penney posted better-than-expected same-store sales growth for the third quarter on Wednesday.
The retailer said comparable-store sales grew by 6.4 percent, while analysts polled by FactSet expected a 5.7 percent increase.
CEO Marvin Ellison said third-quarter gross margins and earnings performance "exceeded our expectations."
The company is scheduled to report full third-quarter results Friday before the bell. In early trading Wednesday, its share price was down more than 1½ percent.
Also Wednesday, Macy's posted disappointing earnings and revenue for the third quarter. It cited a slowdown in visits by international tourists who frequent many big-city Macy's locations, and warmer weather in the Northeast that's curtailing sales of winter apparel.