Seeking Alpha

Large J.C. Penney investors capitulating

  • J.C. Penney (JCP) is seeing more institutional investors throw in the towel with shares in a prolonged downward spiral. according to new SEC filings.
  • Hotckins & Wiley Capital Management, Dodge & Cox, and Hayman Capital have all exited their large JCP positions while Evercore Trust has lowered its stake in the retailer to 4.12% from 5.33%.
  • SEC 13G filings
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Comments (28)
  • shortsqueezer
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    oh boy
    14 Feb 2014, 08:18 AM Reply Like
  • upgrading HOV
    , contributor
    Comments (287) | Send Message
     
    more institutional investors buying...JCP
    14 Feb 2014, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • sfinvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (1137) | Send Message
     
    Soros is 100% out.

     

    This makes Ackman, Soros, Vornado, Hayman, Dodge, etc. that are selling the turnaround story that Dante pumps so hard. Took a huge loss to money and reputation and move on.
    15 Feb 2014, 11:33 AM Reply Like
  • upgrading HOV
    , contributor
    Comments (287) | Send Message
     
    Motleys Fools Now BULLISH JCP $9.00 target jcp
    14 Feb 2014, 08:30 AM Reply Like
  • shortsqueezer
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    do you have a link, upgrading?
    14 Feb 2014, 09:28 AM Reply Like
  • Qniform
    , contributor
    Comments (3192) | Send Message
     
    SS, HOV has been posting data that is inexplicably wrong - just click his comment stream. See http://bit.ly/1gzWowJ and http://yhoo.it/1bs4qDo
    14 Feb 2014, 11:25 AM Reply Like
  • shortsqueezer
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    Thanks, Q. Hope all is well. I am not holding an JCP right now. Although I did make some money back by swing trading it a bit. Right now, I'm in Google, SIRI, and SSYS.

     

    I spoke with a worker at JCP when I was last year who said it has been super busy this year and getting more busy every week. I noticed it too, everywhere but the homegood/kitchen appliances section.

     

    Doggie... Not the curtains and drapes...that was busy. The dept that was slow was homegoods.

     

    I do think JCP will survive without bankruptcy. Possible they dilute more in another offering (if possible), I will be in again when or if it hits high 6's
    14 Feb 2014, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • DeepValueLover
    , contributor
    Comments (9717) | Send Message
     
    A lot of capitulating in gold in Q3 and Q4, 2013 too...how'd that work out?

     

    Also a lot of big players capitulated in (BAC) at the end of 2011...sometimes the "smart money" is the best contrarian signal there is.
    14 Feb 2014, 08:58 AM Reply Like
  • Qniform
    , contributor
    Comments (3192) | Send Message
     
    I always wonder about the relevance of this kind of argument. So shall I bring up the people who didn't sell WorldCom, Enron, etc.? You were bullish in September, weren't you?
    14 Feb 2014, 11:32 AM Reply Like
  • like chocolate
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    Based on my observations, local in store traffic, my own shopping in JCP and online, I believe JCP is definitely heading the right direction. That is just as a consumer sentinement from feet on the street. I predict continued traction ahead.
    14 Feb 2014, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • john600
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    JCP will trade above $12 in 1-2 years
    14 Feb 2014, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • Claus Behnke
    , contributor
    Comments (15) | Send Message
     
    many institutionals bought around 40 bucks..... procyclical people...
    14 Feb 2014, 09:18 AM Reply Like
  • User 12690101
    , contributor
    Comments (151) | Send Message
     
    Why aren't you mentioning Blackrock which holds 8% now?
    14 Feb 2014, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • solnascente
    , contributor
    Comments (16) | Send Message
     
    At the stores we the employee's, have lots of pressure from the management generally speaking, the hours being cut drastically and few customers. The ones at the store are coming with all the coupons they can gather, and mostly they buy clearance. Not a pretty sight.
    14 Feb 2014, 10:47 AM Reply Like
  • bebopr
    , contributor
    Comments (494) | Send Message
     
    solnascente: What is the talk in the store among store employees about the future of your store and the company? In what part of the USA is your store located?
    14 Feb 2014, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • gmom3
    , contributor
    Comments (133) | Send Message
     
    bebopr: our store has been upbeat since the holidays. We have a new store manager who is a tough cookie, but I think his approach will only help our store be even better. The customers' responses on store surveys are reflecting the optimism for the company and our store. We are in the middle of the country. We saw the really big jump at our store when we opened a Sephora. Wow. The ladies are ecstatic. We were told today that about 80% of the customers who enter our store do not even know about or go into Sephora. It has been a gold mine and has really made a difference in a lot of ways for us. Sephora, mens, kids and misses especially does very well at our store.
    14 Feb 2014, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • COBeeMan
    , contributor
    Comments (1660) | Send Message
     
    This is just a re-report of an article by Ben Fox Rubin published by DOWJONES News. I suspect BFR is a short who is starting to seriously worry.

     

    solnascente - At what store do you work? That is a very different description from the two stores I often shop in the Denver metro area. My experience has been more like *like chocolate's* above and getting better. Otherwise I would not be long JCP.
    14 Feb 2014, 10:58 AM Reply Like
  • solnascente
    , contributor
    Comments (16) | Send Message
     
    To bebopr

     

    We are located in Miami, Fl.
    The management is acting like "all is fine", but like I said above, putting lots of pressure on the employee's about everything.

     

    Customer service is a must, the they it should be anyway, but how much of a good customer service can be provided, if they have one employee per department, that has to be at the register, (or the annoying "Libbys") all the time? No help on the floor...

     

    Lets not forget fitting rooms....Before we were expected to open two accounts a week, now they are saying that we should open at least one a day...not an easy task....

     

    Some of the employee's are hopeful that the company will recover, others are looking in a more pessimistic way.

     

    Its very typical the hours being cut at this time of the year, but although we have videos at the store trying to encourage us about being optimistic, the moral is kind of low.
    14 Feb 2014, 01:04 PM Reply Like
  • EnerSavr
    , contributor
    Comments (365) | Send Message
     
    Getting the customers back with coupons is the name of the game. Kohls does the exact same thing and I have not many people buy anything unless it is marked down and have a 20-30% coupon. That is the case for most retailers these days, the point was that people were not even going to the stores. It took 18 month to reach this and it will take at least 18 month to restore it back to the way it was before RJ. This is from another regular consumer's point of view.
    JCP could close another 100 stores and bring in G&A costs down to almost breakeven and still have over a 1000 stores. This is just another option to fix the problems before returning back to profitability.
    14 Feb 2014, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • j main
    , contributor
    Comments (207) | Send Message
     
    Yes, close the worst stores before the company is forced to restructure. Restructuring will hurt the stockholders.
    14 Feb 2014, 06:14 PM Reply Like
  • CLUB 198
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    OMG!!
    Confident management, putting "pressure" on employess to elevate performance and increase productivity, while emphasizing customer service and managing labor costs and asking employees to open more accounts!!!
    Wait a minute!!
    Isn't that what companies attempting to implement a successful turnaround do????
    14 Feb 2014, 01:19 PM Reply Like
  • j main
    , contributor
    Comments (207) | Send Message
     
    Cutting employee hours so that there are not enough people on the floor to service customers is not the sign of a turnaround. Usually that is a sign that there are not enough customers to make the store profitable. It also becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Bad customer service that leads to lower sales and lower inventories available for sale.
    14 Feb 2014, 06:12 PM Reply Like
  • gmom3
    , contributor
    Comments (133) | Send Message
     
    j main: our hours are tight but those who were promised X number of hours seem to get them each week. The problem as it always is, is when can the right amount of employees be present at the right times. For instance, weekends are usually the busiest times so they try to schedule the most hours during that time period. However, there could be a major event like a blizzard, cold spell, whatever and the traffic could be down. The schedules are made weeks in advance so it is not always easy to predict when to schedule people. Then what happens when there is a busy time that no one expected like on a Monday night? Skeleton crews could have handled the usual expected low traffic, but not an unexpected deluge of customers.

     

    What I have noticed and what I like about our new store manager is that there is a strong promotion to return to the "selling mind set" for employees. There are still too many associates who do their "selling" at the point of sale at the register rather then out on the floor. Some departments are very good at having the "selling mind set", even if they only have one person working the department. Others don't seem to think that way yet. The people who can multi task are the best employees. I don't see how they can be any other way actually, but there are some who seem to just be able to focus on one thing at a time, and the rest that needs to be done seems to accumulate. A smile of acknowledgement can go a long way with most customers and sometimes their question can be answered quickly in between customers or during a transaction or going through to pick up another size for someone else.

     

    The people at our store who consistently get high personal remarks for customer service on the surveys are the ones who are moving about the department helping people, greeting people and answering questions to provide the best customer service they can under the circumstances. Those employees have a large area to cover and sometimes are on their own during "slower" times, like later in the evening or early in the morning. They also seem to be the same ones clearing out fitting rooms, straightening the area around where they are waiting for a customer to come out of the fitting rooms, adding merchandise from back stock to the fixtures and walls, etc. If a store can get a high percentage of those kinds of employees who can model what should be done to the newer employees or those not used to working that way, the customer service satisfaction goes very high for that store. It might take the right leadership at individual stores to get the mindset going in the right direction.

     

    I agree on the self fulfilling prophecy. If the employees are upbeat and go the extra effort, it is contagious with the customers as well as our fellow employees who are not feeling upbeat for whatever reasons. . I know our store has come a
    l - o - n - g way from so many negative comments from customers to mainly positive ones in recent months. A year ago, it was really sad to work so hard to have to hear so many negative comments to our faces from customers. Now, it is fun again to work, but it took almost a year to get to this point. You can only imagine how discouraging it is to be working at a store and read all these negative comments about the company on these investment boards. However, we just do what we can at our own place of business and hope that others get out of their funk and do what needs to be done to help the turn around. Maybe if the management continues to appear upbeat is a starting point at those stores. If someone doesn't show some optimism, then what chances are there that that particular store will see positive changes? We can't change all the corporate politics and decisions that have hurt the company, but we sure as individuals can make our own little islands stand out. During the RJ year, the company was supposedly going to be closed any day, and here is, quite a lot longer then any day, and we are still hanging in there.
    14 Feb 2014, 07:06 PM Reply Like
  • CK uses common sense
    , contributor
    Comments (23) | Send Message
     
    thanks gmom. It seems like JCP is on the right track. its going at a slow phase now but i believe if they get a good marketing and PR team a few well made and place ads can do wonders.
    15 Feb 2014, 12:49 AM Reply Like
  • COBeeMan
    , contributor
    Comments (1660) | Send Message
     
    gmom - it is always good to get an "insider" look to complement the "customer" look!
    15 Feb 2014, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • j main
    , contributor
    Comments (207) | Send Message
     
    It was a real pleasure to read your comment. I have always known that the front line of retail is where the real challenges are. In the investing community there is always a huge focus on CEO and the numbers behind the stock price.

     

    One of the challenges in a large retail organization is to have a consistent experience for all the customers in all the stores. Clearly, if there were more employees such as yourself who can dialog in a positive, clear manner, JCP could be a very successful company. No matter what happens to JCP, I wish you the best.
    15 Feb 2014, 09:10 PM Reply Like
  • CLUB 198
    , contributor
    Comments (70) | Send Message
     
    GMOM...having been in retail for over 40 years your comments and insights were invaluable to me. If your work ethic and perspectives in any way reflect a growing (albeit perhaps slowly growing) percentage of the frontline/backoffice work staff, then JCP will succeed in the turnaround. They should feel very fortunate to have you in their ranks. Having read/reraed your comments I am more confident than ever in my JCP position. Thanks SO much and keep the faith!
    15 Feb 2014, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • shortsqueezer
    , contributor
    Comments (668) | Send Message
     
    The secret security agent in House of Cards on Netflix, said he got his shoes at JC Penney before he threatened to kick the crap out of a guy. Clever marketing to have them use their name in the show
    15 Feb 2014, 08:28 PM Reply Like
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