J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) and Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) just reported earnings, with Sears beating analyst expectations, and J.C. Penney missing them. Will that be the most important thing to watch with these stocks? In this video, Motley Fool consumer goods analyst Blake Bos tells investors why, when you're following turnaround stories, it's often best to ignore the short-term beats or misses, and focus on longer-term indicators. Blake takes a look at cash flow, same-store sales, and restructuring efforts with these two embattled retailers, and gives investors his pick for the better bet.

Blake Bos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.