Don't Worry About This Big Departure

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  ) announced yesterday that President Michael Francis is stepping down. In the immortal words of Scooby-Doo, "Ruh-roh!" 

While I'm bullish on the stock (it's a CAPScall) Francis' sudden departure does not bode well for the near term. His leaving leads me to believe that management is seeing sales continue to be ceded to Macy's (NYSE: M  ) and Kohl's (NYSE: KSS  ) . Macy's stores within close proximity to a J.C. Penney have outperformed other locations, and even though Kohl's 12-month performance is uninspiring, it has still outpaced Penney's.

This quarter's same-store sales results could be even worse (year-over-year) than last quarter's. This possibility seems even more probable given Fool Sean Williams' observation that the winter and early spring were unusually warm this year (boosting last quarter's year-over-year results). 

If this is the case, the stock will likely plummet even further, making a cheap stock even cheaper. This is why, if you don't already own shares, I'd recommend waiting until after the next conference call. If the news is good the stock will jump, but much of the uncertainty will be off the table. If the news is bad you'll be able to buy at a vastly better price. 

To those of you who already own the stock -- and own it for the right reasons -- I would not panic. In his report to shareholders on June 12, Bill Ackman confirmed that he thinks the 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."

Given that his hedge fund, which is partnering with Vornado (NYSE: VNO  ) , is the largest owner of the company and has access to superior information that smaller shareholders don't get (thanks to a board seat), that's an endorsement worth considering.

If you're not sold on this retailer, there are other incredible opportunities out there. The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012 is an emerging-market opportunity that Wall Street hasn't caught on to yet. You can learn more about our chief investment officer's top pick.

Fool contributor Chris Baines is a value investor. Follow him on Twitter, where he goes by @askchrisbainesChris' stock picks and pans have outperformed 96% of players on CAPS. He owns no shares of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1917232, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/28/2016 4:16:41 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,162.22 -7.46 -0.04%
S&P 500 2,126.41 -6.63 -0.31%
NASD 5,190.10 -25.87 -0.50%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/28/2016 3:59 PM
JCP $8.48 Up +0.17 +2.06%
J.C. Penney CAPS Rating: *
KSS $44.12 Up +0.42 +0.96%
Kohl's CAPS Rating: **
M $35.58 Up +0.28 +0.78%
Macy's CAPS Rating: **
VNO $91.22 Down -0.54 -0.59%
Vornado Realty Tru… CAPS Rating: **