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J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP)’s Value Lies in Its Real Estate

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) fared far worse than expected when it released Q1 2013 earnings, the first since ousting CEO Ron Johnson.

Losses mounted amid the retailer’s remake. The company lost $348 million, or $1.58 a share, for the first quarter ended May 4. That was heads above the $163 million loss, or $0.75 a share, in same quarter a year ago.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)

Total revenue sank to $2.6 billion, a 16.4% decrease from Q1 of 2012. Comparable sales were down 16.6%.Analysts were looking for a loss of $1.06 a share on revenue of $2.7 billion.

Following the moribund report, new CEO Mike Ullman said, “Our objective is to put J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) back on a path to profitable growth. We are looking forward, not back, and undertaking initiatives to ensure we have a successful future.”

The company blamed the “ongoing transformation of the home department” for the lackluster showing.

Penney’s was referring to the legal battle it’s embroiled in with rival Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) over the right to sell some home goods by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE:MSO).

Macy’s, Inc. (NYSE:M) sought to block J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) from selling the domestic diva’s line under the name JCP Everyday. Macy’s maintains that selling the products infringes on its exclusive contract with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE:MSO).

While a New York judge ruled in favor of Penney’s, at least until a lawsuit that Macy’s is waging against J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s and Martha Stewart is fully decided, the judge cautioned the ruling was only preliminary. Penney’s could still face costly damages if Macy’s prevails.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE:MSO) could certainly use the dual exposure. The company has been trying to turn itself around. It’s showing scant progress.

In November, Martha Stewart Living announced that it was downsizing its magazine and cutting publishing jobs to focus on digital content.

The New York-based company lost $3.3 million, or $0.50 a share in Q1 2013. That compares with a $3.6 million loss, or $0.05 per share loss in the same period a year ago.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (NYSE:MSO) has a storied past, making its IPO debut on Oct. 19, 1999, at $18 per share. The stock soared to $38 by the end of its first day trading as a public company. However, things spiraled downward from there. By February 2002, shares sunk to $16.

After Ms. Stewart was convicted of insider trading in March 2004, shares plunged. Over the last 52 weeks, shares have changed hands between $2.48 and $3.81. It’s a wonder the company is still standing.

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