J.C. Penney reported a weaker-than-expected first-quarter net loss of $348 million, or $1.58 a share, on sales of $2.64 billion. Excluding restructuring and management transition charges and non-cash pension plan expense, the adjusted net loss for the first quarter was $289 million, or $1.31 per share.

It’s the seventh consecutive quarter that Penney has reported a loss. Last week, Penney said same-store sales had declined 16 percent in the first quarter, which was better than the 32 percent fourth quarter decline, but worse than expected.

Analysts forecast a first quarter loss of 86 cents a share and a 14.5 percent sales decline to $2.70 billion.

Results for the quarter ended May 4 compare with a $163 million loss, or 75 cents a share a year ago.

“With that accomplished, together our team is focused on developing and executing strategies to enable us to reconnect with our customer and improve traffic and sales, while operating with strong financial discipline,” Ullman said.

Shares hit a 52-week low six weeks ago after Ullman replaced Ron Johnson as CEO. Shares closed on Thursday down slightly to $18.79, but up 35 percent since early April.

Penney stock has moved higher after Ullman secured a $1.75 billion loan package arranged by Goldman Sachs. Also, shares increased after a fund controlled by billionaire investor George Soros acquired a 7.9 percent stake.

Other retailers reported a mixed bag and pointed to late tax refunds, challenging weather and higher payroll taxes. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted a weaker-than-expected report Thursday saying sales fell 1.4 percent in the U.S. Profit was flat from a year ago and it also missed analyst forecasts.

Kohl’s Corp. also reported Thursday saying first quarter profit fell 4.5 percent, saying spring merchandise had a slow start. Same-store sales fell 1.9 percent. That included an 8 percent decline in sales of seasonal apparel.

On Wednesday, Macy’s Inc. reported a 20 percent increase in profit and a 3.8 percent increase in same-store sales. Macy’s said it believed it attracted shoppers from both Penney and Kohl’s in the first quarter.

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