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J.C. Penney says key sales measure rose during holidays

NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney Co. said a key sales metric rose 3.9 percent during the holiday period as shoppers picked up home goods and other gifts.

The positive results were in contrast with other department store chains during the holidays. Macy’s said Wednesday night that the same measurement, sales in stores open at least one year, fell 5.2 percent during the November and December period and said it was cutting 4,800 jobs.

Plano-based J.C. Penney said warm weather hurt clothing sales but other items were stronger sellers. J.C. Penney also said it plans to generate positive free cash flow in fiscal 2015.

Shares rose 24 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $7.24 in morning trading Thursday. Its shares have fallen 8 percent over the past year.

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