J.C. Penney on Tuesday posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss of $1.17 a share on $2.66 billion in revenues, but its store sales improved from the previous quarter and its stock price jumped.
Analysts had expected Penny to report a second quarter loss of $1.06 a share on $2.76 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
Penney's stock soared Tuesday, getting an additional boost by reports that Kyle Bass's Hayman Capital had taken a large equity position. (Click here to get the latest quote.)
(Read more: Kyle Bass goes long JC Penney: Source)
Penney also reported sales at stores open at least a year had fallen 11.9 percent in the second quarter, during which it reverted to a promotions-heavy strategy to try to halt a sharp sales decline.
"That's a sequential improvement from the down 16.6 percent in the first quarter. So I would say the numbers are closely in line," Mary Ross Gilbert, managing director at Imperial Capital, told CNBC shortly after Penney released its results. "We were [also] seeing a sequential improvement throughout the quarter. Comp sales were improving throughout the quarter."
Penney CEO Mike Ullman described the back-to-school season as "encouraging" so far.
But he added: "We're facing headwinds of declining mall traffic. We know where the problems are, how to address them, and have the plans in place."