J.C. Penney stock price dips below $1 a share Thursday

J.C. Penney shares fell to 97 pennies Thursday after the century-old retailer's stock price closed below the $1 mark. 

Shares of J.C. Penney & Co. (JCP) dropped to as low as 95 cents, down almost 10 percent, Thursday afternoon. The stock price has tumbled nearly 30 percent since November, when the retailer cut its sales outlook and profit forecasts for the year. 

Its third-quarter earnings report issued last month showed sales at stores open at least a year, a key retailer metric watched closely by analysts, slipped 5.4 percent, worse than predictions at the time. 

The Plano, Texas, company also posted a loss of $151 million, or 48 cents per share, for the third quarter ended Nov. 3, up significantly from a year-earlier quarterly loss of $125 million, or 40 cents per share. Revenue of $2.73 billion fell short of Wall Street expectations of $2.81 billion.

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J.C. Penney revised its outlook after the company in October named Jill Soltau, the former CEO of Jo-Ann's Stores, its new chief executive, and Michael Fung, a retired Walmart executive, as interim CFO. 

Company spokeswoman Sarah Holland declined to comment Thursday on "market activity or sales activity," citing corporate policy. Still, she said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch that the retailer expects to end the year with "well over $2 billion in liquidity" and continues to expect positive free cash flow, or cash left over after the company has paid for operating and capital expenses. It has cut debt, she added, retiring $602 million in debt in 2017 and $190 million this year.

J.C. Penney, founded in 1902 in Wyoming by James Cash Penney, has struggled to keep up with retail trends as physical stores continue to lose share to online sales at competitors like Amazon and Walmart. It's shut stores and tweaked its offerings, including adding appliances. 

At the end of the third quarter, the company had 865 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, down from 1,011 stores in the third quarter of 2017, according to its latest filing with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.