JCP: The RJ Reversal

Takeaway: Johnson just can't seem to get his act together; replicating the first half of the year is not what investors are looking for.

Yesterday’s Analyst Day at JCPenney (JCP) was a real hoot. Our Retail team remains bearish on the stock and it’s easy to see why when management just doesn't seem to understand how to placate investors.


Looking at the chart below, you can see a big pop immediately followed by a major drop. The pop is JCP CEO Ron Johnson coming out at just after 3:30pm and announcing that “new stores comps are up +20%.” Then he followed up and added 15 minutes later that he was planning “2H like 1H.” People don’t like what he’s done in the first half of 2012 and the sell off hit the market faster than a tricked out Ferrari.



JCP: The RJ Reversal  - JCP IntradayStockChart



The stock has now broken through our TRADE line of resistance of 28.11. Sorry, RJ, but you’ve got to do better than that. Here are some takeaways from yesterday’s event that our Retail team pointed out:


-Nearly 400 attendees were expected for the event

-The entourage from HQ to the JCP stores required 7 buses

-After a glimmer of hope from RJ “new shops comping +20%” he then followed up with “we expect the2H to be same at 1H.”

-Small sample to be pegging growth potential on, which Ackman wanted to amplify with his statement rather than question in Q&A suggesting that RJ highlight the performance of the StoneBrier store, which he had shared with the Board the day prior.

-After slapping Keith’s TAIL line of resistance up at $32, the sharp reversal strongly indicates that this is a broken tail risk call with TRADE resistance in the low $20s

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