(Reuters) - Sales at J.C. Penney Co Inc's <JCP.N> established stores missed Wall Street targets in the fourth quarter, and its forecast for yearly earnings also lagged expectations, pushing its stock down 9 percent on Friday.


The results contrast strong holiday-quarter sales from Macy's <M.N> and Kohls Corp's <KSS.N> earlier this week and underscore the struggle faced by some retailers in the face of unceasing competition from Inc <AMZN.O>.


J.C. Penney's weaker-than-expected sales growth also follows a rosy forecast from the retailer, which said in January it saw strong demand for home, beauty products and jewelry.


Its comparable-store sales rose 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3, missing analysts' average estimate of a 2.94 percent increase.


J.C. Penney forecast full-year earnings of between 5 and 25 cents per share, largely below analysts' average expectation of 20 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.


The company also said on Friday it had cut about 230 jobs, a move expected to save between $20 million and $25 million in costs annually.

Its net profit fell to $254 million in the fourth quarter from $192 million, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, J.C. Penney earned 57 cents per share, ahead of the analysts' estimates of 47 cents.

Net sales rose 1.8 percent to $4.03 billion, missing expectations of $4.05 billion.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)