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May 12 (Reuters) - Department store operator J.C. Penney Co Inc's quarterly loss more than doubled, hurt by weak sales in February and higher costs related to store closures and employee severance packages.
Net loss widened to $180 million, or 58 cents per share, in the first quarter ended April 29, from $68 million, or 22 cents per share, a year earlier.
Sales at stores open more than a year fell 3.5 percent, more than the 0.7 percent decline, according to the average of analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)