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Actionable news in JCP: J.C. PENNEY COMPANY Inc,

Why Reports of J.C. Penney's Ugly 1Q Should Concern You

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If a resurgent J.C. Penney (JCP - Get Report) couldn't get a lot people through the doors in the first quarter amid several new initiatives, how will the rest of the year unfold?

That may be the question investors are asking about the department chain Friday as a result of reports of sluggish first-quarter sales. The New York Post says J.C. Penney slashed payroll, froze overtime and frowned upon the use of the corporate credit card in April, which is the last month in the quarter.

Both full- and part-time employees had their hours reduced due to tepid sales -- those who typically work 25 hours a week got their hours cut to 10 or 15 hours, says the report. Product markdowns were also banned in an effort to protect profits.

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