NEW YORK — J.C. Penney is reporting a small profit in the fourth quarter, but the beleaguered retailer suffered a revenue shortfall as it struggles to win back shoppers.

The retailer, based in Plano, Texas, says that it earned $35 million, or 11 cents per share, in the three-month period ended Feb. 1. That compares with a massive loss of $552 million, or $2.51 per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue slipped 2.6 percent to $3.78 billion.

Excluding a tax benefit and other items, Penney had a loss of $206 million, or 68 cents per share, in the quarter.

Analysts had expected a loss of 81 cents on revenue of $3.84 billion.

Revenue at stores opened at least a year was up 2 percent.