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J.C. Penney Climbs After CNBC Reports Johnson Is Out

J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) surged in late trading after CNBC reported that Ron Johnson was ousted as the department-store chain’s chief executive officer.

The shares rose 8.1 percent to $17.15 at 5:02 p.m. in New York. The Plano, Texas-based company had lost half of its market value from Nov. 1, 2011, the day Johnson started, through the close of regular trading today.

The departure comes after a dismal first year on the job for Johnson, who arrived at J.C. Penney with great fanfare after building Apple Inc.’s network of stores. Johnson has been trying to transform most of the company’s stores into collections of boutiques and removing sales and coupons in a shift to everyday low prices.

J.C. Penney’s sales in the year ending Feb. 2, plunged 25 percent to $13 billion, the lowest since at least 1987.

The company will issue a press release shortly, Daphne Avila, a company spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail while declining to provide more details.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matt Townsend in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at

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