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GuruFocus Financial Strength Rank measures how strong a company’s financial situation is. It is based on these factors

1. The debt burden that the company has as measured by its Interest coverage (current year).
2. Debt to revenue ratio. The lower, the better
3. Altman Z-score.

A company ranks high with financial strength is likely to withstand any business slowdowns and recessions.

Financial Strength : 3/10

Cash to Debt 0.27
JCP's Cash to Debt is ranked lower than
51% of the 1083 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 2.50 vs. JCP: 0.27 )
JCP' s 10-Year Cash to Debt Range
Min: 0.01   Max: 1.19
Current: 0.27

Equity to Asset 0.26
JCP's Equity to Asset is ranked lower than
56% of the 1073 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 0.52 vs. JCP: 0.26 )
JCP' s 10-Year Equity to Asset Range
Min: 0.26   Max: 0.42
Current: 0.26

F-Score: 2
Z-Score: 0.66
M-Score: -3.01
GuruFocus Profitability Rank ranks how profitable a company is and how likely the company’s business will stay that way. It is based on these factors:

1. Operating Margin
2. Trend of the Operating Margin (5-year average). The company with an uptrend profit margin has a higher rank.
••3. Consistency of the profitability
4. Piotroski F-Score
5. Predictability Rank•

The maximum rank is 10. A rank of 7 or higher means a higher profitability and may stay that way. A rank of 3 or lower indicates that the company has had trouble to make a profit.

Profitability Rank is not directly related to the Financial Strength Rank. But if a company is consistently profitable, its financial strength will be stronger.

Profitability & Growth : 2/10

Operating margin (%) -11.97
JCP's Operating margin (%) is ranked lower than
60% of the 1067 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 5.56 vs. JCP: -11.97 )
JCP' s 10-Year Operating margin (%) Range
Min: -11.97   Max: 9.66
Current: -11.97

Net-margin (%) -11.70
JCP's Net-margin (%) is ranked lower than
59% of the 1066 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 3.93 vs. JCP: -11.70 )
JCP' s 10-Year Net-margin (%) Range
Min: -11.7   Max: 5.79
Current: -11.7

ROE (%) -44.96
JCP's ROE (%) is ranked lower than
60% of the 1049 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 9.28 vs. JCP: -44.96 )
JCP' s 10-Year ROE (%) Range
Min: -44.96   Max: 27.15
Current: -44.96

ROA (%) -11.76
JCP's ROA (%) is ranked lower than
58% of the 1065 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 4.71 vs. JCP: -11.76 )
JCP' s 10-Year ROA (%) Range
Min: -11.76   Max: 9.1
Current: -11.76

ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) -20.91
JCP's ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) is ranked lower than
57% of the 1066 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 20.96 vs. JCP: -20.91 )
JCP' s 10-Year ROC (Joel Greenblatt) (%) Range
Min: -23.54   Max: 38.4
Current: -20.91

Revenue Growth (%) -13.90
JCP's Revenue Growth (%) is ranked lower than
54% of the 786 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 6.50 vs. JCP: -13.90 )
JCP' s 10-Year Revenue Growth (%) Range
Min: -18.9   Max: 14.4
Current: -13.9

» JCP's 10-Y Financials


Revenue & Net Income
Cash & Debt
Oprt. Cash Flow & Free Cash Flow

» Details

Guru Trades

Q1 2013

JCP Guru Trades in Q1 2013

Tom Russo 110 sh (New)
Chase Coleman 5,350,000 sh (New)
Steven Cohen 191,505 sh (New)
Larry Robbins 9,554,297 sh (+30.9%)
Dodge & Cox 20,472,393 sh (+1.22%)
Murray Stahl 1,360,030 sh (+0.78%)
Jeremy Grantham 142,500 sh (+0.21%)
Bill Ackman 39,075,771 sh (unchged)
Ruane Cunniff 700,000 sh (unchged)
Mariko Gordon 13,500 sh (unchged)
Caxton Associates Sold Out
Richard Pzena Sold Out
Michael Price 755,000 sh (-5.63%)
Mario Gabelli 205,100 sh (-12.61%)
HOTCHKIS & WILEY 10,086,166 sh (-27.32%)
Whitney Tilson 12,100 sh (-73.05%)
» More
Q2 2013

JCP Guru Trades in Q2 2013

Richard Perry 12,000,000 sh (New)
George Soros 19,986,361 sh (New)
Chuck Royce 589,131 sh (New)
Steven Cohen 390,100 sh (+103.7%)
Mario Gabelli 234,000 sh (+14.09%)
Steven Cohen 900,000 sh (unchged)
Whitney Tilson 290,000 sh (unchged)
George Soros 500,000 sh (unchged)
Bill Ackman 39,075,771 sh (unchged)
Louis Moore Bacon 25,000 sh (unchged)
Whitney Tilson Sold Out
Chase Coleman Sold Out
Dodge & Cox Sold Out
Tom Russo Sold Out
Ruane Cunniff Sold Out
Murray Stahl 1,357,364 sh (-0.2%)
Larry Robbins 8,431,879 sh (-11.75%)
Jeremy Grantham 54,400 sh (-61.82%)
Michael Price 90,000 sh (-88.08%)
» More
Q3 2013

JCP Guru Trades in Q3 2013

David Tepper 737,800 sh (New)
Paul Tudor Jones 38,052 sh (New)
Whitney Tilson 10,000 sh (New)
Kyle Bass 5,687,516 sh (New)
Michael Price 364,700 sh (+305.22%)
Mario Gabelli 558,000 sh (+138.46%)
Jeremy Grantham 125,300 sh (+130.33%)
Chuck Royce 871,131 sh (+47.87%)
Larry Robbins 12,370,487 sh (+46.71%)
Mariko Gordon 56,300 sh (unchged)
Steven Cohen 1,756,800 sh (unchged)
Louis Moore Bacon 25,000 sh (unchged)
George Soros 19,986,361 sh (unchged)
Bill Ackman Sold Out
Richard Perry 10,000,000 sh (-16.67%)
Steven Cohen 217,075 sh (-44.35%)
Murray Stahl 272,664 sh (-79.91%)
» More
Q4 2013

JCP Guru Trades in Q4 2013

John Keeley 260,000 sh (New)
Steven Cohen 421,885 sh (+94.35%)
Mario Gabelli 892,500 sh (+59.95%)
Chuck Royce 948,431 sh (+8.87%)
Paul Tudor Jones 40,686 sh (+6.92%)
Michael Price 364,700 sh (unchged)
Larry Robbins 12,370,487 sh (unchged)
Kyle Bass Sold Out
David Tepper Sold Out
Whitney Tilson Sold Out
Richard Perry Sold Out
Jeremy Grantham 87,429 sh (-30.22%)
George Soros 13,836,361 sh (-30.77%)
Murray Stahl 158,798 sh (-41.76%)
» More
» Details

Insider Trades

Latest Guru Trades with JCP

GuruDate Trades Impact to Portfolio Price Range * (?) Current Price Change from Average Current Shares
Richard Perry 2013-12-31 Sold Out 2.2%$6.42 - $10.19 $ 8.15-2%0
George Soros 2013-12-31 Reduce -30.77%0.58%$6.42 - $10.19 $ 8.15-2%13836361
John Keeley 2013-12-31 New Buy0.04%$6.42 - $10.19 $ 8.15-2%260000
Mario Gabelli 2013-12-31 Add 59.95%0.02%$6.42 - $10.19 $ 8.15-2%892500
Richard Perry 2013-09-30 Reduce -16.67%0.87%$9.05 - $17.67 $ 8.15-43%10000000
Michael Price 2013-09-30 Add 305.22%0.32%$9.05 - $17.67 $ 8.15-43%364700
Mario Gabelli 2013-09-30 Add 138.46%0.02%$9.05 - $17.67 $ 8.15-43%558000
Richard Perry 2013-06-30 New Buy5.2%$13.93 - $19.39 $ 8.15-52%12000000
George Soros 2013-06-30 New Buy3.7%$13.93 - $19.39 $ 8.15-52%19986361
Michael Price 2013-06-30 Reduce -88.08%1.32%$13.93 - $19.39 $ 8.15-52%90000
Dodge & Cox 2013-06-30 Sold Out 0.38%$13.93 - $19.39 $ 8.15-52%0
Ruane Cunniff 2013-06-30 Sold Out 0.07%$13.93 - $19.39 $ 8.15-52%0
Premium More recent guru trades are included for Premium Members only!!
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Guru Investment Theses on JC Penney Co Inc

Bill Ackman Comments on J.C. Penney - Oct 04, 2013

We chose to exit our entire stock and total return swap position in J.C. Penney (JCP) at the end of August and incurred a loss of approximately 50% of our original investment. We did so because of a disagreement with the board about the timing and necessity for a CEO change at the Company, the valuation implied by the then stock price, and the risk of a successful turnaround.Turnarounds are inherently risky and require a totally aligned board of directors, a CEO with substantial turnaround experience, and the support and confidence of all stakeholders. Without all of these ingredients, we are bearish on J.C. Penney's prospects.

I have said before that investing requires the confidence and conviction to believe that one is right even when the whole world, including other smart, high-profile investors, tells you that you are wrong. Buying 25% of General Growth for pennies per share during the financial crisis and shortly before its bankruptcy required detailed analysis, execution, and confidence. Staying short MBIA stock, when Warburg Pincus, with access to inside information, invested a billion dollars of capital into MBIA, and Marty Whitman, a famous distressed investor, invested hundreds of millions in capital, required a similar degree of analysis, confidence and conviction.But confidence and conviction without humility can be dangerous in the investment business.

When one shares an investment thesis publicly, it can be more difficult to change one's mind because the human mind has a tendency to ignore data that are inconsistent with a firmly held view, and particularly so, when that view is aired publicly. That is likely why Wall Street analysts continued to rate MBIA a buy until it nearly went bankrupt. And, I believe it is why analysts will likely keep their buy ratings until Herbalife is shut down by regulators or the company faces substantial distributor defections.I have learned that the key to long-term success in investing is to balance confidence with the humility to recognize when the facts are no longer consistent with one's original investment thesis. It is critically important not to let psychological factors interfere with economic rationality in investment decision making.We and the other members of the J.C. Penney board were extremely enthusiastic about the Company's prospects under Ron Johnson's leadership in light of his track record at Mervyn's, Target, and Apple, and his creativity and vision for the Company. However, when the results continued to underperform our expectations, we and the rest of the board elected to changecourse.While earlier this year we believed that J.C. Penney could be turned around with adequate capital – we believed the $2.25 billion Goldman financing would suffice – this was only the case if the capital were spent extremely judiciously and an experienced turnaround retail operating team was at the helm. When we became concerned about the board's and management's decision making, we voiced our concerns publicly in an open letter to the board and then exited in a block transaction as promptly as we could. While we were criticized in the press for airing our concerns, we did so because of our fiduciary duty to the Company's shareholders. Our candor likely contributed to our ability to exit at a modest discount to the last trade, as investors were made aware of our concerns and could form their own assessment of our views when we sold.Our willingness to change our mind and exit at a substantial loss on a high-profile investment should give you comfort that we will make rational investment decisions without regard to emotional, personal or other considerations. This approach will likely serve to mitigate losses in failed investments and is a critical component of our long-term approach.

From Bill Ackman's Pershing Square third quarter 2013 investor letter.

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Bill Ackman Comments on J.C. Penney - Jun 13, 2012

From Pershing Square's first-quarter letter:

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) The transformation of JCP is rapidly underway. On January 25th, Ron Johnson, JCP’s new CEO, launched a new strategy which includes new branding, marketing, and, most significantly, a dramatic change in the Company’s pricing and promotional strategies. Over the last 20 years, JCP had implemented an extremely promotional strategy with more than 500 promotional ‘events’ last year. The result of this strategy had been declining sales, reduced margins, and an inability to attract high quality, proprietary merchandise in the stores because the most desirable brands are not interested in selling product within a highly discount-oriented store environment.

The ability to offer proprietary, well-presented products in the stores is critically important in a world in which bricks-and-mortar retailers compete with internet retailers which can conveniently offer commodity products at lower prices. Prior to the change in strategy, JCP’s business was deteriorating and was at risk of further declines because the company offered largely undifferentiated products and competed principally on price.

By changing the pricing and promotional strategy of the business and updating the JCP brand, Ron has been able to attract a large number of new vendors and brands that were previously unwilling to sell in a JCP store. By allowing these vendors to open their own ‘boutiques,’ ‘shops,’ and ‘stores’ – essentially small, medium and large stores within a JCP store – they can control their selling environment, presentation and the customer experience. Some of these new stores within a store will begin to open this August.

Previously, the only alternative for these vendors to control their store environment would be to open specialty stores in a mall, pay high rents, invest materially more capital, and train and employ a large sales force to sell their products. By partnering with JCP, the vendor avoids these additional business complications and the capital costs of building out their own mall-based store portfolio, while gaining an overnight national presence.

JCP’s new business model allows it to leverage one of the Company’s important competitive advantages, i.e., its ownership of 49% of its real estate with the balance leased at about four dollars per square foot. This low cost real estate is an enormous competitive advantage when compared with specialty store rents which average approximately $40 per square foot in malls where JCP is located.

JCP’s store-within-a-store experience with Sephora has proven that non-discounted high quality brands can achieve high sales per square foot in a JCP store. Sephora stores inside JCP currently generate sales of more than $600 per square foot compared with an average of about $150 per square foot for the rest of the JCP store. By building out new shops which generate substantially higher sales per square foot, JCP should be able to greatly increase its overall sales per square foot and profitability.

There is more to the strategy than just opening up new stores within the store. Ron is an expert at creating store environments that are extremely appealing to consumers and in using technology to improve the shopping experience. The public will learn more about the new JCP selling environment when the company opens 10 stores within a store beginning this August.

The long-term value of the property depends on the mall attracting higher quality tenants that will generate larger sales volume. The tenants that have been recruited to date have a proven ability to generate large sales volumes and are going to attract a larger base of customers than the property’s current tenants. The mall manager is confident in the property’s turnaround based on the tenant roster that will open stores beginning in August, but for competitive reasons he has not yet disclosed the identity of the new tenants to the public. The mall’s traditional customers are puzzled as to why their coupons have been taken away, which has reduced customer traffic. While the mall manager has done his best to clean up the property, the property won’t show well until the new stores are open.

The mall has two large owners on his management committee and a highly dispersed group of smaller owners. The mall manager talks on a regular basis with the large owners and is able to share with them all of the details of the property’s weekly sales progress, the identity of new tenants, and the detailed plans for the mall renovation and marketing program. The larger group of smaller owners receives less information because it would be a competitive disadvantage for the mall to share this information broadly.

While the property used to make quarterly distributions to its owners, the mall manager has decided to stop making distributions to preserve capital to accelerate the transformation of the mall, and to maintain maximum balance sheet strength during the transformation. The reported financials are complicated by the inclusion of substantial expenses related to the repositioning of the mall and its management. As a result of the complexity of the financials, the limited amount of information available, and the cancellation of distributions, a number of the smaller owners have panicked and are selling their interests in the mall. The press and public commentators are having a field day. They too have limited information and have written articles that are short on facts and long on speculation.

The good news is that it is only a few more months before the first new stores open. With time and some changes, the marketing message for the property will be better understood, old customers who left will return, and a large base of new customers, who hadn’t shopped at the property before, will start shopping because they are attracted by the new tenants and the more attractive and compelling shopping experience. The mall will become the most attractive place to shop in the market because each month two to three new stores will be opening which will create news and a reason for existing and new customers to shop in the mall.

When we first announced our stake in JCP, the stock price increased to the low $30s per share. Shortly after announcing our stake, we were approached by one of the most well-respected private equity funds in the world who expressed an interest in acquiring the company at a substantial premium. While we welcomed this fund as an owner of the stock, we had no interest in selling the company for a quick premium because we believe in the long-term value creation opportunity.

We also believe that public market investors benefit by being able to participate in the value created from a business transformation, rather than being forced to sell out. While there will likely continue to be a high degree of stock price volatility during the course of our JCP transformation, we believe that long-term investors will benefit greatly from the outcome.

By the beginning of the company’s next fiscal year in February, we expect the most challenging year of the turnaround will have been completed. Sales should rise from the current low levels as the current JCP consumer comes to better understand the pricing strategy, and as new product is introduced with a new store presentation that attracts both new and traditional JCP customers.

JCP is currently operating at a fraction of its potential. While a stronger economy is a positive for nearly every business, the macro environment is unlikely to have a substantial effect on the performance of JCP. Rather, management’s degree of success in transforming the company will be the principal driver of the profitability of our investment.

Despite the fact that the company has stated that it will take about four years to complete the transformation, we do not believe that investors will need to wait long to see substantial stock price appreciation from current levels. As the company makes operational, strategic, and financial progress over the next 12 months, we expect the stock price to reflect that progress. We believe JCP stock is extremely cheap at current prices and that it offers one of the best potential opportunities we have seen for long-term profit when compared with the risk of a permanent decline in value from today’s share price.

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Top Ranked Articles about JC Penney Co Inc

Bill Ackman Gains in Every Long Portfolio Position
With his enormous, hit-or-miss activist bets and bombastic style, owner of hedge fund Pershing Square Bill Ackman (Trades, Portfolio) stirs a great deal of controversy. In recent years several of his high-profile crusades failed to effect returns for his investors, such as at J.C. Penney (JCP) and Target (TGT), and his embattled short position in Herbalife (HLF). So far this year, he has begun to retreat from some of his other largest projects, such as Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (CP) and General Growth Properties (GGP), under better conditions. Below is an overview of the investor’s performance with the positions in his highly concentrated $8 billion portfolio, all of which are currently profitable. Read more...
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J.C. Penney - Formidable Days
During the first nine months of 2009, for every dollar of gross margin the operating expenses less depreciation, pension and restructuring costs ("OPEX") at J.C. Penney (JCP) were 81 cents. But they were $1.29 per one dollar of gross margin for the first nine months of 2013. Read more...
What Guru Investors Are Doing with J.C. Penney, Down 10%
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Bill Ackman Comments on J.C. Penney
We chose to exit our entire stock and total return swap position in J.C. Penney (JCP) at the end of August and incurred a loss of approximately 50% of our original investment. We did so because of a disagreement with the board about the timing and necessity for a CEO change at the Company, the valuation implied by the then stock price, and the risk of a successful turnaround.Turnarounds are inherently risky and require a totally aligned board of directors, a CEO with substantial turnaround experience, and the support and confidence of all stakeholders. Without all of these ingredients, we are bearish on J.C. Penney's prospects. Read more...
Perry Capital Becomes Next Investor to Give Up on JC Penney
After Bill Ackman dropped J.C. Penney (JCP) like a new toy that lost its luster last month, other investors are losing confidence. Investor Richard Perry of Perry Capital, after adding 7 million shares to his J.C. Penney stake on Aug. 30, slashed it by 47.37% yesterday, Oct. 1. Read more...
After the Ackfire - Regrouping at JCP
In the last few months, numerous billionaire investors have clearly divided on the fate of iconic department store J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP). Joining six other billionaires selling out, Guru Bill Ackman sold out his embattled position of over 39 million shares. Meanwhile, three more gurus made new buys in the second quarter of 2013, and four gurus made call options. In August, two guru stakeholders upped their shares significantly, and in the first week of September, Kyle Bass made a splash buying 11,428,450 JCP shares. Read more...


P/B 0.70
JCP's P/B is ranked higher than
86% of the 1036 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 1.71 vs. JCP: 0.70 )
JCP' s 10-Year P/B Range
Min: 0.54   Max: 4.53
Current: 0.7

P/S 0.20
JCP's P/S is ranked higher than
90% of the 1107 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 0.74 vs. JCP: 0.20 )
JCP' s 10-Year P/S Range
Min: 0.12   Max: 1.2
Current: 0.2

EV-to-EBIT 111.10
JCP's EV-to-EBIT is ranked lower than
79% of the 968 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 13.34 vs. JCP: 111.10 )
JCP' s 10-Year EV-to-EBIT Range
Min: 3.6   Max: 24
Current: 111.1


Valuation & Return

Price/Tangible Book 0.80
JCP's Price/Tangible Book is ranked higher than
85% of the 937 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 2.00 vs. JCP: 0.80 )
JCP' s 10-Year Price/Tangible Book Range
Min: 0.58   Max: 4.5
Current: 0.8

Price/Median PS Value 0.40
JCP's Price/Median PS Value is ranked higher than
97% of the 1015 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 1.00 vs. JCP: 0.40 )
JCP' s 10-Year Price/Median PS Value Range
Min: 0.25   Max: 2.06
Current: 0.4

Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) 0.90
JCP's Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) is ranked lower than
72% of the 983 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 7.40 vs. JCP: 0.90 )
JCP' s 10-Year Earnings Yield (Greenblatt) Range
Min: 0.9   Max: 28.1
Current: 0.9

Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) 0.14
JCP's Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) is ranked higher than
58% of the 727 Companies
in the Global Department Stores industry.

( Industry Median: 10.63 vs. JCP: 0.14 )
JCP' s 10-Year Forward Rate of Return (Yacktman) Range
Min: -14   Max: 42
Current: 0.14


Business Description

Industry: Retail - Apparel & Specialty » Department Stores
Compare:M, DFIHY, SRHGY, JWN, KSS » details
Traded in other countries:JCP.Germany
J. C. Penney Company, Inc., was incorporated in Delaware in 2002. The Company is a holding company whose operating subsidiary J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in 1924. The Company sells merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores and through Internet website at jcp.com. Department stores and Internet generally serve the same type of customers and provide virtually the same mix of merchandise, and department stores accept returns from sales made in stores and via the Internet. It sells family apparel and footwear, accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, beauty products through Sephora inside jcpenney and home furnishings. In addition, the Company's department stores provide its customers with services such as styling salon, optical, portrait photography and custom decorating. As of February 2, 2013, the Company operates approximately 1,104 department stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico. The Company's trademarks comprises of The jcpenney, Fair and SquareTM, jcp, monet, Liz Claiborne, and Okie Dokie, among others. The Company's competitors include other department stores, discounters, home furnishing stores, specialty retailers, wholesale clubs, direct-to-consumer businesses, including the Internet, and other forms of retail ecommerce. The Company's business is subject to a wide array of laws and regulations.

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