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JC Penney Co Inc JCP
Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 05/16/2013

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the First Quarter 2013 JCPenney Company Incorporated Earnings Conference Call. My name is Patrick and will be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. We will facilitate a question-and-answer session towards the end of the conference. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Eric Cerny, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please proceed.

Eric Cerny - VP of IR: Thank you, and welcome to the JCPenney 2013 first quarter earnings call. This call is being recorded and the replay may be accessed through the Internet at JCPenney.com under the Company Information-Investors section.

Before we begin I'll remind you that any forward-looking statements we may make today are subject to the Safe Harbor statement found in our release. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. For more details on those risks, please refer to our most recent Form 10-K and other SEC filings.

I'll turn the call over to Michael.

Mike Ullman - CEO: Good afternoon and thank you for joining us. This is obviously my first quarterly earnings call since returning to JCPenney last month. I know many of you quite well and others I haven't met I'm looking forward to meeting you in the near future.

In a few minutes Ken Hannah, our Chief Financial Officer, will take you through the Company's financial results for the first quarter of 2013, but I want to say a few words at the top of the call about my initial impressions and some of the priorities we are guiding our work as we (set out to) turn this company around. I should point out that we're somewhat constrained about what we're going to say about the future, both because of the limitations placed on us by the financing and bond tender on our way and my instinct and not get ahead of ourselves as we talk about the future.

Since returning to the Company five weeks ago I've spoken with a wide variety of stakeholders to fully assess our situation and to fully determine the next steps to take to improve our performance. These conversations have been enlightening and they'll continue to inform the actions we take.

The good news is our fundamental business processes are still strong and our senior leadership is intact, with especially strong teams in merchandising, planning and allocation and our store leadership.

I can say with confidence we're looking forward not back, developing new strategies and initiatives to take into account the changes in the consumer environment, the competitive landscape and the opportunities we have for a successful future. There are several key priorities we are focusing on as we put together our plan to return to profitable growth.

We've taken steps to stabilize the business and strengthen our financial position. As you all know we have drawn down $850 million on our $1.85 billion committed revolving credit facility and security and commitment for a five-year $1.75 billion senior secured term loan facility.

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