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  • At 52-Week Lows, J.C. Penney Stock Is Untouchable [View article]
    I hadn't even realized they did a share buy back... wow. That's just shocking. I know there are plenty of esteemed economists and finance types that will defend share buy backs to their grave, but in situations like this I find them even more absurd.

    Anyway, thanks for the interesting article and follow-ups! You've got yourself at least one new 'follower'.
    Nov 16 11:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • At 52-Week Lows, J.C. Penney Stock Is Untouchable [View article]
    When I saw JCP plummet the other day, I was thinking it might be a good buy just based on book value - but then I of course instantly caught the stench of that cash burn. Ouch.

    My feeling is that JCP should have 'done a Ford' and mortgaged their assets for cash before this ill-considered strategy-change poisoned the balance sheet. Without huge cash reserves to invest in their stores, float them for some extra months, etc. I can't see much upside. Their book value seems to half every 6 months, and any Good Will in the brand is likewise tainted by the mismanagement and poor market response to the changes.
    Nov 15 08:01 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ackman: If He Can Defend J.C. Penney, He Can Defend Anything [View article]
    According to the JCP conference call these unbelievable numbers are apparently representative numbers.

    And no, you cannot have anymore information about what store they came from, the dates the numbers encompass, what independent group collected the data, etc. What do you think, the numbers might be (ahh, hmmm) unreliable? Why wouldn't you believe these guys? Just because their entire business case and future of the company depends on such things you think you have a right to question them?

    I'm afraid you do not make a very good JCP investor or hype magnet.
    Nov 15 07:45 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney Inflection Point For Wealth Or Destruction [View article]
    I was thinking the same thing. The transcript from the conference call is pure drivel and obfuscation. I was considering buying at such a low price point, but I can't trust anything out of the mouth of either the CEO or the CFO.

    The comment from JCP about 'how much we've learned' (or words to that affect) was the moment when I spit out my coffee and laughed. Wow.

    They were hired as turnaround retails guys and are yet unaware their 'learning' (don't they mean 'failed strategy'?) has made JCP the worst performing company in the segment.

    At some point the mismanagement will hit equilibrium with market forces and stabilize the sales curve. Then, I'm sure we will hear about the brilliance of their vision - just never mind the hundreds of millions in losses, double digit market share decreases, damage to brand identity, etc, etc.
    Nov 13 03:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Market Outlook - Beware Of Red Flags [View article]
    I don't want to politicize this, but 'numbers people' clearly saw the likely results of the election many days before this sell-off.

    If an investor was pegging a Romney victory to a buy or sell decision, and was surprised by the outcome of the election, I'd really question their ability to work with data.
    Nov 12 11:50 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Update: J.C. Penney Should Listen To Its Customers [View article]
    Companies rot from the top down, and I can't consider JCP a bargain, even at $18.00... (the book value on the company is about $16.00 per share, by the way).

    Once - or if - there is a revolt and the executives behind this strategy are fired, then I can see some positive news.

    JCP comments about 'learning' are completely amateurish - nobody will accept that a retail giant needs to learn the business or their customers. Especially via a $2 billion stock drop.

    That's a pretty expensive school, even by the standards of the worst corporate buffoonery.
    Nov 12 11:32 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Heard on J.C. Penney's (JCP) earnings call: 1) CEO Ron Johnson calls the quarter a period of "unbelievable learning" as store traffic fell 12%. 2) Maintains customers "understand" shift back to two-tier pricing, but acknowledges the sales drop is tied to slashing value promotions. Solution = disclosing manufacturer pricing. 3) On Shops, data is "exceptionally encouraging" but little follow-through to top-line yet. 4) A tale of two companies. RJ says the startup part of the firm, he calls it JCP, is competing against the old department store which he calls J.C. Penney. Remarkably, the startup is called the fastest growing in retail history. Quick analyst take on call: Bewildering. (webcast[View news story]
    When someone criticizes JCP for 'pushing the gay agenda' - (whatever that is) - I'm pretty sure most savvy investors understand just how seriously we need take the author of the comment.
    Nov 12 11:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 3 Scariest Government Charts [View article]
    If you don't like the math that gives us 2.4% here are the details...

    The debate (if there is any) is mostly over what administration 'owns' what aspect of the budget. For instance, Bush passed $250 billion for TARP which carried years forward. Its not just adding up the totals of the annual budget...
    Oct 3 08:18 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The 3 Scariest Government Charts [View article]
    Your heading 'Tax and Spend' is misleading... the problem is spending WITHOUT taxing, and has been for the last 30 years or so.

    Over the last 4 years the federal budget has grown at a rate of 2.4% - slower than any other president since Truman. (That number is from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.) The issue is now bringing taxes inline with spending and paying for what has been already promised.
    Oct 3 10:27 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors: How To Bash GM - A Primer [View article]
    I think I have another couple of missed points:

    1.) Socialism is BAD!!! Especially for car makers!!!!! Be sure to neglect mention of successfully manged companies like VW, Porsche, BMW, MB, etc and their decades long partial state ownership. (Kinda redundant with the 'Governmental Motors' diatribe, but I think everyone needs to know that Socialism is BAD!!!!!)

    2.) Eco-terrorists are killing the car!!! Obama is planning the demise of GM for 'green' reasons. I have actually heard a conspiracy theory that states: The only reason reason the government rescued GM was so that they could destroy it. Sandal wearing, hemp growing, unwashed ecologists hate all cars (especially the big SUVs that GM specializes in) and of course the US government is beholden to environmentalists, ergo the Illuminati are working to bring GM down from the inside. -- Can't make this stuff up.
    Sep 27 12:34 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • General Motors: How To Bash GM - A Primer [View article]
    Sorry to hear about your families experience with GM's bankruptcy.

    It's easy to forget with all of the back-and-forth about policy, finance, etc. on here that real money and peoples' nest eggs are also at stake.
    Sep 27 12:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Radio Shack Move Shows Shortage Of Retail Talent [View article]
    Where am I going to go when I need a new power cord for my computer - right now? Internet sales are fine, but plenty of these items are needed the same day, or within five minutes.

    I would think a fewer number of better located retail outlets offering excellent inventory, knowledgeable staff, and light computer repair (perhaps) will be needed for the foreseeable future.

    Is no competitor angling for this niche?
    Sep 27 11:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Halliburton: Undervalued And Unloved [View article]
    Indeed. Halliburton is a bit like News Corporation (Murdoch's company) in that it has so much bad blood and such a sketchy background (can you say 'no-bid government contracts in Iraq'?) that a decapitation of everyone at or above the executive level would probably result in a share bounce. Really, this is an excellent example of a company that pushes through via size and old boyisms that are fast drying up. The financial's say as much.

    A few years ago I worked at an engineering firm that had business with HAL, and it was a universally unloved company, for many, many reasons.
    Sep 10 05:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Netflix: Game Over [View article]
    A good article - thanks. If you wanted another demonstration of the kind of management netflix is operating under, you might want to note the stock buybacks the company has been engaging in... Incredible, especially considering the shortage of cash to retire debt.

    At some point you have to ask - is it incompetence, or just simple criminal behavior? What is going on with this company?
    Sep 5 10:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney - Not Buying The Transformation [View article]
    Wow, what a confrontational slew of comments you've left. And thanks for the selective reading of people's comments and the article, too. If you seriously think an author has to peg a 'fair value' via a strategy article like this, fine, that is your opinion. It is not shared by myself or apparently the vast majority of SA readers, commentors or contributors.

    I suggest you lodge a formal complaint with the managers of this forum and see if you can get this ridiculous article off the Internet and then we can all rest easier.
    Aug 28 07:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment