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August 14, 2014
10:36 EDTM, HSNI, JCP, MSOEarnings Preview: Analyst sees J.C. Penney reporting positive Q2 comps
J. C. Penney (JCP) is scheduled to report second quarter earnings after the market close on Thursday, August 14, with a conference call scheduled for 4:30 pm ET. J.C. Penney operates about 1,100 retail stores and EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for a loss per share of (93c) on revenue of $2.79B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is ($1.13)-(65c) on revenue of $2.71B-$2.86B. LAST QUARTER: J. C. Penney reported first quarter EPS of ($1.16), against estimates for ($1.25), on revenue of $2.8B, against estimates for $2.71B. Comparable store sales increased 6.2% for the quarter. The retailer forecast Q2 SSS up in the mid single digits and said the gross margin would improve sequentially against the prior year period. For fiscal year 2014, J.C. Penney forecast same-store sales up in the mid-single digits with gross margin up "significantly" versus the prior year. On its Q1 earnings conference call, the company said that it expected to be cash flow neutral this year and that it sees working capital as a source of funds in 2014. NEWS: Shopper visits to physical stores, not specifically J.C. Penney but all U.S retailers, fell by nearly 7% in June and nearly 5% in July, according to data firm ShopperTrak, reported The Wall Street Journal. The report noted that physical store visits have fallen by 5% or more from a year earlier in every month for the past two years in the U.S. The WSJ also reported that Mindy Grossman, CEO of HSN (HSNI), was considered the lead candidate for J.C. Penney Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman's position. Grossman had been in talks with J.C. Penney but could not agree on terms and negotiations broke down "months" ago, the Journal added in its July 13 report. During the quarter, J.C. Penney appealed a New York state court decision that ruled the company interfered with a contract between Macy's (M) and Martha Stewart (MSO) by selling the celebrity's home products. STREET RESEARCH: Craig-Hallum upgraded J.C. Penney shares to Hold from Sell earlier this week. The research firm expects the Q2 report to reflect better than expected comps from a stronger inventory position and improving vacancy rates in its malls, but remains cautious longer-term given gross margin pressures from outsized e-commerce growth. Piper Jaffray believes a turnaround is "very much underway" at the retailer and says the company is on a path to reclaim $2B-$3B of its $6B revenue loss following a change in management. The firm sees positive comps in Q2 and the second half of 2014, it stated in a report published July 31. PRICE ACTION: Since the day after its last earnings report, J. C. Penney shares are up about 12.5%. In morning trading today ahead of tonight's Q2 report, J. C. Penney's stock is up 0.5% to $9.40.
News For JCP;M;MSO;HSNI From The Last 14 Days
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October 2, 2015
06:48 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney announces actions to de-risk pension plan
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October 1, 2015
12:57 EDTJCPOptions with increasing put volume
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September 30, 2015
09:03 EDTMMetLife leads insurers giving $1B, 12-year loan to refinance luxury mall
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September 28, 2015
10:18 EDTM, JCPJ.C. Penney rises after CEO meeting prompts upgrade
Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) are rising in morning trading after a Sterne Agee CRT analyst upgraded the retailer to Buy with a $13 price target following a meeting with the company's new chief executive officer. WHAT'S NEW: Sterne Agee CRT analyst Charles Grom upgraded J.C. Penney this morning to Buy from Neutral with a $13 price target after recently spending time with new CEO Marvin Ellison at the company's headquarters. Grom said he came away from the meeting "more confident" in the company's turnaround plan, adding that Ellison has the "right demeanor" and business sense to lead the company and "right the ship." Ellison took over as CEO of the retailer on August 1, replacing previous CEO Myron "Mike" Ullman. Sterne's Grom said that while the firm has previously been critical of the retailer's strategy, he believes the initiatives, led by Ellison, are "refreshing" and could boost the company's EBITDA. Grom thinks Ellison is the right person to help revive J.C. Penney and believes the company can surpass its long-term EBITDA target of $1.2B by 2017, saying that this goal "may prove to be a floor rather than a ceiling." Additionally, the analyst sees "multiple levers" to drive same-store sales higher. Despite his optimism in J.C. Penney's recovery story, the analyst notes that U.S. consumer spending is shifting away from traditional items in department stores toward move service-oriented products, traditional mall traffic trends remain "suppressed" and weather trends across the U.S. in August and September were not "ideal" for mall-based retailers. WHAT'S NOTABLE: J.C. Penney recently named John Tighe as executive vice president and chief merchant, effective October 1. Tighe, most recently senior vice president and senior general merchandise manager for the men's, children's, footwear, handbag and intimate apparel divisions, will succeed Elizabeth "Liz" Sweney, the company said. On August 31, Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell upgraded J.C. Penney to Buy from Hold and raised his price target on the stock to $12 from $10, calling the company a "self-help story." Trussell noted that the company has already improved its merchandise mix and is now moving toward better pricing and fewer markdowns. Trussell said that the company's target of mid-single digit same-store sales growth looks "achievable" and its brands and assortment "look right." OTHERS TO WATCH: Other department store operators include Macy's (M), Kohl's (KSS) and Sears Holdings (SHLD). PRICE ACTION: J.C. Penney is up 1.5% to $9.57 in morning trading and is up nearly 50% year-to-date.
10:00 EDTJCPOn The Fly: Analyst Upgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy upgrades include: ANI Pharmaceuticals (ANIP) upgraded on valuation at Roth Capital... AbbVie (ABBV) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citi... Astec (ASTE) upgraded to Accumulate from Neutral at Global Hunter... Atmel (ATML) upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James... BAE Systems (BAESY) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein... BG Group (BRGYY) upgraded on valuation at BMO Capital... Boston Scientific (BSX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham... C.H. Robinson (CHRW) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T... Citi (C) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies... Diamond Offshore (DO) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank... Endologix (ELGX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BTIG... Infosys (INFY) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Societe Generale... J.C. Penney (JCP) upgraded on confidence in CEO, initiatives at Sterne Agee CRT... Knowles (KN) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at FBR Capital... Lexicon (LXRX) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Gabelli... MTN Group (MTNOY) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Natera (NTRA) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Wedbush... Omnicell (OMCL) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sidoti... RBC Bearings (ROLL) upgraded to Buy from Accumulate at Global Hunter... Raptor Pharmaceuticals (RPTP) upgraded to Perform from Underperform at Oppenheimer... Regal Entertainment (RGC) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley... Repsol (REPYY) upgraded on valuation at BMO Capital... Star Bulk Carriers (SBLK) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Stoneridge (SRI) upgraded to Buy from Hold at BB&T... Transocean (RIG) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank... Vertex (VRTX) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus... Wabash (WNC) upgraded to Buy from Accumulate at Global Hunter.
08:52 EDTJCPOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
IN FOCUS: Apple (AAPL) after announcing it set a record by selling more than 13M new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models in the first three days after launch of the devices. HIGHER: Media General (MEG), up 22% after Nexstar (NXST) announced a proposal to acquire the company for cash Nexstar shares currently valued at $14.50 per Media General share... Alcoa (AA), up 5.4% after announcing that its board has unanimously approved a plan to separate into two independent, publicly-traded companies - an Upstream company that will operate under the Alcoa name and a new Value-Add company whose name will be announced at a later date... Atmel (ATML), up 7% after Reuters reported that Cypress Semiconductor (CY) is working on a competing bid to Dialog Semiconductor's (DLGNF) takeover offer... J.C. Penney (JCP), up 3% after Sterne Agee CRT upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral after meeting with the company's new CEO. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Cal-Maine Foods (CALM), down 8%. ALSO LOWER: Verastem (VSTM), down 50% after stopping enrollment in the Phase 2 study of VS-6063 for patients with mesothelioma for futility after a Data Safety Monitoring Board review of a pre-planned interim analysis... Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), down 3.7% after the Detroit Free Press said some local UAW workers rejected a four-year tentative pact between the United Auto Workers and the company... Williams (WMB), down 3% after Energy Transfer Equity (ETE) announced a business combination transaction valued at approximately $37.7B, including the assumption of debt and other liabilities. Under the deal, an affiliate of ETE, will acquire Williams at an implied current price of $43.50 per Williams share.
07:52 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney upgraded on confidence in CEO, initiatives at Sterne Agee CRT
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07:22 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee CRT
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06:42 EDTMPerfume makers look to Wal-Mart, Target, WSJ reports
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05:36 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney implied volatility of 44 at lower end of index mean range
September 25, 2015
08:53 EDTMFinish Line says September comps month to date up low single digits
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September 23, 2015
07:08 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney names John Tighe chief merchant
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06:37 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney seeks new chief merchant to replace Sweney, WSJ reports
J.C. Penney is searching for a new chief merchant, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. The new executive would replace Elizabeth Sweney, who has held the role since 2012. It is unclear whether the new chief merchant would be an internal or external candidate, but one source says that an announcement relating to the role will be made "early Wednesday morning." Reference Link
September 21, 2015
09:27 EDTJCPJ.C. Penney says to hire 30,000 seasonal associates
J.C. Penney said in a tweet that it will hire 30,000 seasonal associates. Reference Link
09:01 EDTMMacy's to hire 85,000 seasonal associates in 2015
Macy's said it plans to hire seasonal associates for approximately 85,000 positions at its Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores, call centers, distribution centers and online fulfillment centers nationwide for the 2015 Christmas and holiday season. The company's 2015 seasonal hiring plan is essentially flat to last year.

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