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JC Penney shares fall amid report of 'expense challenge'

Marvin Ellison, CEO of J.C. Penney
Sabrina Korber | CNBC
Marvin Ellison, CEO of J.C. Penney

Shares of J.C. Penney fell 7.5 percent Friday after the New York Post reported, citing an internal memo, the retailer faced "an expense challenge" in April.

The company cut payroll, froze overtime for its employees and took other cost-cutting measures, the Post reported.

A J.C. Penney spokesman said in an email: "JCPenney is currently in a quiet period prior to Q1 earnings results on May 13."

The company has been working to turn around its business under Chief Executive Marvin Ellison, who came on board in August last year. It said in February it expects to report its first annual profit in five years in 2016.

The company is scheduled to report first-quarter results on May 13, along with a slew of other retailers.

J.C. Penney's stock has gained 24 percent year to date, but has shed more than 20 percent in the past month.

JCP in 2016Source: FactSet

— Reuters contributed to this report.