A Fool Looks Back

J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP  ) is still a mess under CEO Ron Johnson. He came with quite the resume, but there's a big difference between running a department-store chain and watching over the retail arm of the world's most valuable tech company.

Everyone assumed that Friday morning's report would be bad, but could anyone had fathomed that it would be this bad? After all, weren't some of the brands that were kicking the "store in a store" approach posting strong initial results at the remodeled stores?

Whether they were or not, the result was ugly, as comps for its latest quarter plunged an inexplicable 26%. Let's see if free haircuts to kids on Sundays will bail the floundering retailer out. Oh, right -- folks looking for free snips for their tots aren't exactly the type to spend money at a department-store chain.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN  ) shares tumbled nearly 10% on Thursday after posting a disappointing quarterly report. With shares of the regional telco now yielding more than 11%, will income investors step up?
  • SodaStream (Nasdaq: SODA  ) posted another quarter of blowout results. Revenue soared 49% for the maker of the popular home-based soda maker. Analysts were banking on just a 33% pop. SodaStream's adjusted earnings also blew Wall Street targets out of the water. It may be safe to stop calling this product a fad.
  • Vringo (NYSEMKT: VRNG  ) finally got its patents to pay off. It wasn't awarded all that it was seeking, but even a small amount against dot-com titans is notable.
  • Zipcar (Nasdaq: ZIP  ) is taking control of the wheel. The car-sharing service pulled up with strong quarterly results, fueled by an 18% uptick in members. There's something neat about earning 10 times what analysts were forecasting, but that can happen when Wall Street's holding out for only a $0.01 a share in profitability.

Moving on
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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On November 10, 2012, at 9:12 AM, RetiredVermonter wrote:

    JCP is headed down the wrong track -- big time. They have turned away from their longtime customer base (mature folks looking for quality items) in favor of catering to young people (who mostly wouldn't enter a Penney's store in the first place).

    Stupid. Narrowminded. But they won't be the first store to do dumb things like this.

    We hope they reverse course before it's too late. They used to be a good store.

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2012, at 12:14 PM, Actiasluna wrote:

    The author forgets that Ron Johnson was with Target long before he was with Apple. While with Target, he brought their stores' look and feel into the modern age. While RetiredVermonter disagrees, I believe that this is precisely what JC Penney needs - an injection of modern. Time will tell, but I feel JCP is worth consideration with Johnson at the helm. Without a change from its dated brand, it was destined to go the way of Sears. But the big question is "How long to wait?"

  • Report this Comment On November 12, 2012, at 12:20 PM, Actiasluna wrote:

    And I'll add to my comment above that if I had the capital to buy in to JCP right now, I believe it would be a good time to invest. Patience... isn't that the Fools' motto? :-)

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