On an annual basis, JC Penney's growth was more than double Target's (NYSE:TGT) whose 20% growth in operating income landed it in second place here:
More recently, JC Penney's year over year growth has slowed a bit - increasing 29.4% in this year's first quarter and 36.3% in the second quarter.
The three companies with the strongest Q2 growth in operating income ( JC Penney, TJX (NYSE:TJX) and Kohl's (NYSE:KSS)) have the best 12 month stock performance of the companies mentioned here (notice the nice rank ordering):
With the exception of Target, 12 month stock performance for the rest of the group also rank orders with their Q2 growth in operating income.
Comments: This discount retail sector has been under pressure lately. Declining gasoline prices should help the sector, just in time for the holiday season. The wild-card here is the softening housing market's impact on retail sales.