Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP): Not Exactly a Page-Turner

Stupidity is contagious. It gets us all from time to time. Even respectable companies can catch it. As I do every week, let’s look at five dumb financial events this week that may make your head spin.

1. Not exactly a page-turner
The chapters don’t get any easier for Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS). The fading bookseller stumbled after posting uninspiring quarterly results and the fizzling out of a partial exit strategy.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS)Chairman and founder Leonard Riggio revealed that he’s abandoning efforts to take the company’s retail bookstores private. With Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS)’s once promising Nook business also seeming less and less marketable, with its 23% slide in hardware sales for the period, it seems as if Barnes & Noble will fade into its final chapters on its own.

2. Penney hard-a-way
Things continue to get worse for J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP). Once again, the struggling department-store chain posted a wider adjusted deficit than analysts were expecting. Comps plunged 11.9%, and that was after a 21.7% freefall during the same period a year earlier. Put another way, this is a 31% plunge in comps over the past two years.

The chain is still trying to undo the damage done by former CEO Ron Johnson’s poorly received concept makeover. It’s not a shock to see customers wanting items stocked by category instead of by brands and at more compelling price points.

However, Penney has the gall to claim that online sales at jcp.com fell “just” 2.2% during the quarter. A decline is a decline, especially when even many retail laggards are posting positive online sales.

3. Putting the “oh” in IPO
It’s an unspoken rule, but the most important quarter for any IPO is its first report as a public company. Disappoint the market, and it will be hard to regain credibility. Well, Lightinthebox Holding Co Ltd-ADR (NYSE:LITB) became the latest debutante to let the baton drop during the talent portion of the pageant.

The online retailer of wedding gowns, illuminated faucets, and other trinkets saw revenue climb 53% to $72.2 million, but Wall Street was betting on sales of $75.8 million. LightInTheBox could’ve saved itself with rosy guidance, but that didn’t happen. It sees a sequential decline while analysts were modeling a sequential increase.

LightInTheBox is an interesting story, sourcing goods in China that it sells to the rest of the world with free shipping for larger orders. The company is profitable and clearly growing. However, it’s hard to bounce back from a lousy first impression.

4. Kenmore, meet Ken Less
One of the rare silver linings for Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) in recent years — as its Sears stores struggle and its Kmart sibling fares worse — is that shoppers still gravitate to its tools and appliances.

Well, its appliances aren’t selling so well these days. Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) posted a larger loss than Wall Street was expecting this week, with negative comps at both of its flagship chains. That’s not a surprise. The real shock is that Sears was bellyaching about weak appliance sales.

The housing market is booming, and with new construction comes heightened demand for new appliances. Several companies reporting ahead of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ:SHLD) confirmed the trend of strong appliance sales. There’s something seriously wrong when even a silver lining at Sears is tarnished.

5. There’s never an “easy” button when you need one
The market gave Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) the business after the office-supply superstore chain disappointed investors with fresh financials. The stock tumbled 15% on Wednesday after the retailer posted declining sales and profitability.

The market’s known for some time that the operator’s overseas business is struggling, but now Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS) is revising its outlook even lower. Staples is eyeing a decline in revenue and no more than $1.25 a share in earnings for the year. Its earlier view was calling for a modest increase in sales on earnings of $1.30 to $1.35 a share.

This would seem to be a good time to be Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS). Corporate America’s hiring again. New small businesses are starting up. Two smaller rivals have combined in a move that should firm up product pricing. However, the retailer just isn’t getting the job done. Staples sells staple removers, but this week it was investors removing Staples.

The article This Week’s 5 Dumbest Stock Moves originally appeared on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of LightInTheBox. The Motley Fool owns shares of Staples. 

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.