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Short JC Penney

December 12, 2013 | About:
I always know I’m on to something when I get a barrage of hate mail. Actually, “hate mail” is a bit anachronistic. These days, hating is done via snarky Twitter posts and comments at the bottom of articles (take a look at this StockTwits exchange as a rather tame example).

While this is not quantifiable by any stretch, I do view it as something of a contrarian indicator. Investors only feel compelled to write hate mail when they feel insecure and have allowed their emotions to take control. In these cases, it’s generally safe to take the other side of the bet.

At any rate, I’ve taken a fair bit of abuse for the comments I made on JC Penney (JCP) in an interview on Thursday. I noted that while CEO Mike Ullman is making a heroic effort to save the company—even putting a million dollars of his own money into the stock—it’s almost certainly too late. Same-store sales picked up last month, but the year-ago comps were abysmal and the company made no mention of its margins. Gross margins have been in free fall for the past year…before the Black Friday discounts started.

1386887735887.png But the most distressing aspect for a value investor is that JC Penney has already posted its best real estate properties as collateral in return for much needed short-term financing. Penney is an unprofitable retailer burning through its cash with little left to pawn. It’s time to go short.

Action to take: Short JC Penney at above $8. Plan to take profits at $4.00 or lower. Cover your short if the stock rises above $10.

About the author:

Charles Sizemore
Charles Lewis Sizemore is the Editor of the Sizemore Investment Letter premium newsletter and Chief Investment Officer of Sizemore Capital Management.

Mr. Sizemore has been a repeat guest on Fox Business News, has been quoted in Barron’s Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, and has been published in many respected financial websites, including MarketWatch, TheStreet.com, InvestorPlace, MSN Money, Seeking Alpha, Stocks, Futures, and Options Magazine and The Daily Reckoning.

Visit Charles Sizemore's Website


Rating: 2.4/5 (5 votes)

Comments

The Science of Hitting
The Science of Hitting premium member - 7 months ago
"Short JC Penney at above $8... Cover your short if the stock rises above $10."



Closing a position as it becomes more attractive (from a short perspective, assuming you believe it is worth much less than $8/share) simply because of price action as opposed to anything tied to the fundamentals - that's the exact opposite of intelligent investing...

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