June 19, 2012
Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of retailer J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP ) sank 11% on Tuesday after announcing that its president, Michael Francis, was leaving the company.
So what: The announcement comes just eight months after Francis was hired to assist in J.C. Penney's rebranding efforts, reinforcing concerns over just how difficult its turnaround is becoming. New CEO Ron Johnson seems to be requiring more and more control of the execution reins (CFO Michael Dastugue also left just a few months after Johnson's arrival), giving investors plenty of uneasy vibes about the corporate culture that is being cultivated.
Now what: Going forward, Johnson will assume direct responsibility of J.C. Penney's marketing and merchandising functions. Of course, given the high degree of sales uncertainty surrounding the company right now, I wouldn't be so quick to pounce on today's pullback. While the stock might seem statistically cheap, J.C. Penney just hasn't shown enough signs of life to deserve the benefit of the doubt.
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