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JC Penney secures bigger-than-expected loan

May. 23, 2013 @ 12:34 AM

NEW YORK -- J.C. Penney says it has secured a $2.25 billion loan, $500 million more than it had expected.

The Plano, Texas-based retailer has been burning through cash and struggling to win back customers.

The company last month fired its CEO, Ron Johnson after his ambitious turnaround plan backfired and caused sales to plummet. J.C. Penney brought back Johnson's predecessor Mike Ullman to take over the top spot.

Proceeds from loan will be used to fund the company's operations and pay off some of its debt, J.C. Penney said Wednesday.

Lowe's 1Q profit rises, but results miss Street

NEW YORK -- Lowe's said Wednesday that its first-quarter net income rose nearly 3 percent, but results fell short of expectations as rainy weather hurt spring gardening sales.

The No. 2 home improvement retailer's results stood in contrast to those reported a day earlier by Home Depot. Lowe's larger rival reported an 18 percent rise in net income, bolstered by the improving housing market. Lowe's was hurt more by the rainy and cool spring.

Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser said Lowe's has less of a California presence, and a greater dependency on lawn and garden products than Home Depot.

Revenue in stores open at least one year rose 3 percent for indoor products such as paint but declined 7 percent for outdoor products. Results were weaker in March but improved in April, Niblock said. Revenue in stores open at least one year have been positive in May as well, he said.

W.Va. gas prices up 5 cents in past week

CHARLESTON -- West Virginia gasoline prices are up about 5 cents over the past week heading into the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

AAA East Central says the average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.66 in the state.

Prices range from $3.56 in Martinsburg to $3.86 in Huntington.

Motorists are paying about 2 cents less for a gallon of gas in West Virginia than they did a year ago, when the average price was $3.68.

Nationally, gas prices currently average $3.65.

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