J.C. Penney's first-quarter results were better than expected as lost customers start finding their way back to the retailer. The department store's 6.2 percent sales increase, a narrower loss and a new credit line all represented progress for the injured retailer. The sales increase was the second consecutive quarterly rise for Penney after two years of steep declines. Customer traffic was up in April for the first time in 30 months. That kind of deep hole doesn't fill back up quickly. Still, Penney CEO Mike Ullman was upbeat in a call with analysts.