Tomahawk, WI 01/09/2014 (BasicsMedia) – Is J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) out to embarrass everyone who ever talked positive on the stock over the past two months? In October and November, the retail store issued sales data which indicated that its turnaround was starting to make progress. The company said that its comparable store sales grew in the two months and even promised more growth in December.

However, when the company issues a review of its December sales this week, it slept on some facts, or perhaps there were no good facts to talk about during last month’s trading. Following the announcement which lacked specifics, the stock took a severe punishment from investors who made it the most sold among the NYSE listed companies.

Troubled journey

That disappointing news release and the subsequent fall of the stock could just me indicators of how the stock will be trading this year. Note that J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) lost tune with shoppers following its failed attempt to go up-market in 2012 and early 2013. During this period, the company not only burnt a lot of its money in status upgrade, but also alienated many of its shoppers.

The blunder resulted in all that was a worrying decline in sales month in month out. It was then that the management change was suggested, thanks to the two hedge funds which founding their way into the company’s board to engineer the change. As part of the change process, CEO Ron Johnson was replaced by Mike Ullman who had the mandate to help the company regain its lost traffic and to shore up sales.

When Ullman took over the leadership in April last year, what he tried to achieve first was investor confidence. He helped the company to raise about $3 billion in secondary offering and started spending the many in ways he believed would attract shopper back to J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP). Did he succeed? Well, in October in November he smiled when he reported that the retailer was going somewhere in its turnaround efforts. What of December? Well, this is why J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) is starting to become problem again.

December performance

That J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) has decided to sit on the December sales figures is sending speculations that the company’s turnaround could be stalling. This is coming when the company had prepared investors for good things in the new year, even saying that it expected its fiscal 2013 fourth quarter to be better than any that has been seen in the recent past.

Moreover, the company’s turnaround prospects received widespread applause with analysts issuing buy recommendation on the stock left, right and center. Did the company mislead us with its alleged sales growth in October and November? Could it be that competitors upped their game when they realized that J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) was recovering, thereby frustrating the company’s turnaround efforts? These are the hard questions which we hope that Mr. Ullman and his team will find reason to address before the company starts receiving ‘death sentence’ recommendations.

As for now, investors should stay in the sidelines. The scare which came from the company should be taken seriously.

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