The breakeven earnings per share compared to last year's $.52per share is a positive trend, especially given the continued weakeconomy commented JC Penney's chairman and CEO Myron E. Ullman. Thepast quarter, he pointed out, is the toughest overall during thefiscal year as well.

Further adding to management's optimism was the cash andequivalents of $2.3 billion and the reduction in long-term debt to$3.4 billion, down $113 million. On the other side, operatingincome decreased 72.4% to $67 million, while total sales decreased7.9% compared to last year.

Still, Ullman focused on the bright spots, including the openingof JC Penney's Manhattan store, and the re-opening of a store inAlexandria, LA, which had been shut down in 2005 due to damage fromHurricane Katrina. "The Manhattan store will capitalize on thesuccess we're already having in the New York market," he said."This was designed to capture both Manhattan customers andout-of-town visitors." Meanwhile, he continued, the Alexandriastore is doing well.

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