J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) Latest Reports: Back-to-School Ad Criticized, Bill Ackman Ready to Sell Stake, Ninth Quarter Sales & More

Editor’s Note: J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)

Parents furious over J.C. Penney back-to-school ad (ksl.com)
A new ad has many parents vowing to steer clear of J.C. Penney for their back-to-school shopping. It’s not about the clothes, it’s about the message it sends — kids who don’t dress the right way won’t have any friends. At least that’s what some parents see when they watch it. The ad, which popped up on television screens earlier this summer, features a mother talking about getting her kids ready to go back to school. She explains why J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) is the only place for her. “It’s got all the other brands they have to have,” she says. “I’ve been told that this stuff can make or break an entire year.”

Bill Ackman in front of PerishiAckman gets ready to sell J.C. Penney stake (Bayoubuzz)
Earlier this week he quit the retailer’s board of directors. Ackman, who is founder of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, reached an agreement with J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) that allows him to register to sell the company’s stock in up to four separate blocks. The agreement, filed as a document with the Securities and Exchanged Commission, said that Ackman and his Pershing Square fund own at least 5% of J.C. Penney’s stock. That stock is losing value rapidly, having plunged more than 30% so far this year. The company has been fighting for survival and trying to raise money through investment firm The Blackstone Group. Ackman quit the board on Tuesday, finally conceding defeat in his long-running bid to replace Myron Ullman as interim chief executive officer.

With Everything Going Wrong at JCPenney (JCP), is Now the Time to Buy? (StreetInsider.com)
Despite reports earlier this week that comparable-store sales appear to be improving this month, is it time to jump back into JCPenney? The answer might actually be “yes.” J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) is slated to report Q213 results on August 20th. Analysts are looking for a drop in sales for the ninth-straight quarter, but most see the second-half of 2013 improving over the first six-months of the year. For the recent quarter, JCPenney’s loss should widen from 67 cents last year to $1.20 per share. Sales will drop about 8 percent to $2.78 billion.

A Look Back at Ackman & JCP (TheStreet)

J.C. Penney Heads for Ninth Quarter of Plunging Sales (Businessweek)
J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) countered criticism from investor Bill Ackman last week by saying it’s focused on stabilizing the business and winning back customers. Results next week will show what little progress has been made. Analysts predict a wider second-quarter loss and the ninth straight sales drop when J.C. Penney reports on Aug. 20, though improvements are projected for the second half of the fiscal year. The quarter was the first entirely under Chief Executive Officer Mike Ullman, who returned in April to undo the failed strategy put in place by former CEO Ron Johnson.

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