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The Madness of People, JCP Style

July 26, 2012 | About:
The Science of Hitting

The Science of Hitting

In the past I've pointed to volatility as an indicator of the fact that most market participants are simply looking to rent, not own: they could care less about the intrinsic value of a business. Today’s example comes in a slightly different fashion (no pun intended).

As some people may have noticed, J.C. Penney’s (JCP) stock shot up today in the middle of trading, in what appeared to be an unexplainable jolt; it appears that Reuters has an answer for us:

“Shares of J.C. Penney Co Inc jumped almost 10 percent briefly on Wednesday after a well-known fashion editor sent a glowing message about the department store's revamp under chief executive Ron Johnson on social networking website Twitter.

"I'm @jcpenney's HQ. Thank you Ron Johson (sic) for the walk through of JCP's prototype. Get ready to shop! Its (sic) going to be a game changer!" Nina Garcia, Marie Claire magazine fashion editor and judge on television show "Project Runway", said in a tweet.

Garcia also signed on last week as J.C. Penney's "Style Voice" and fashion collection curator.

Penney shares rose to as much as $23.09. The stock was up 4.9 percent at $22.02 later on Wednesday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.

TD Ameritrade chief derivatives strategist J.J. Kinahan pointed to the message in explaining the share spike.

"With that we saw the stock go sharply higher" along with increased buying in call options, a bullish play, Kinahan said.

Some analysts questioned whether the tweet by Garcia caused the stock move, but could not point to another reason for the jump.

A J.C. Penney spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.”

Just to clarify, Ms. Garcia’s opinion about the JCP prototype (which, by the way, has been at least partially unveiled since the two day event back in January) caused some “investors” (I’m really not sure what to call them) to become bullish on the Penney’s story and drive the stock 10% higher; this all happened because of a tweet sent by a designer who recently partnered up with Penney’s as their “style voice and fashion collection curator.”

As is often the case, I’m flat-out baffled; all I know is that the efficient market guys have a lot of explaining to do…

About the author:

The Science of Hitting
I'm a value investor, with a focus on patience; I look to buy great companies that are suffering from short term issues, and hope to load up when these opportunities present themselves (potentially over a period of years). As this would suggest, I run a fairly concentrated portfolio by most standards, usually with 8-10 names; from the perspective of a businessman rather than a market participant / stock trader, I believe this is more than sufficient diversification.

I hope to own a collection of great businesses; to ever sell one, I would demand a substantial premium to the average market valuation due to what I believe are the understated benefits to the long term investor of superior fundamentals and time on intrinsic value. I don't have a target when I purchase a stock; my goal is to replicate the underlying returns of the business in question - which if I've done my job properly, should be very attractive over many years.

Rating: 4.6/5 (21 votes)


Rdj1234 - 2 years ago
I'd guess they don't know or care she's being paid to promote the JCP makeover

The Science of Hitting
The Science of Hitting premium member - 2 years ago

I would go with don't care, especially when you're convinced to buy in under 140 characters. Thanks for the comment!
Varunfriend premium member - 2 years ago
I guess they dont the difference between causation and correlation.

Cogitator99 - 2 years ago
I'm not a fashion guy myself, but Garcia is very highly-regarded in the industry. So I can believe the tweet caused the spike.

There's so much negativity on JCP these days that anything positive can help the price.
The Science of Hitting
The Science of Hitting premium member - 2 years ago

Same here, but apparently she holds some sway with some people! And on the negativity, remember than when you read my other comment about short term pain; not many executives are willing to step in Ron Johnson's shoes and bite the bullet, regardless of how success this strategy has over time.

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