Most investors know that J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) lost over $1.3 billion last year. What you may not know is that in addition to the retailer's department store operations falling deep into the red, the company incurred numerous accounting charges throughout the year that contributed to the staggering loss. Motley Fool consumer goods analyst Sean O'Reilly walks Foolish investors through J.C. Penney's recent losses and explains that while the troubled retailer still needs to focus on bringing back customers, it will definitely get some help in improving the bottom line this year thanks to two key factors.

Sean O'Reilly owns shares of J.C. Penney Company. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.