Crista Huff

J.C. Penney Co., Inc. (JCP, $12.36) is rumored to be in talks with Goldman Sachs (GS, $165.25) to raise more money to finance operations, possibly borrowing against real estate, or issuing new equity and/or debt.Goldman previously arranged a $2.25 billion loan for J.C. Penney this past spring, to help with falling inventories and rising accounts payable.

J.C. Penney has not been able to get on its feet after turning its back on loyal discount-oriented shoppers, and attempting to transform itself into a trendy shopping destination.The strategy failed, sales dropped precipitously, and a large fiscal ‘13 (year-end January) net loss is turning into large annual losses through at least 2016.21,000 employees have lost their jobs in the last 18 months.

JCP Chart

JCP data by YCharts

The company has seen revolving-door CEO changes this year, disruptive shareholder activism, and the dumping of shares by institutions.Pershing Square Capital Management sold 39.1 million shares in late-August; and Vornado Realty Trust (VNO, $86.03) sold its remaining 13.4 million shares on September 19, after having sold 10 million shares in March, ending a three-year investment in the company.Those two investment groups owned approximately 29% of outstanding common shares of J.C. Penney.

After a loss of $3.49 per share in 2013 (before additional non-recurring charges), Wall Street expects Penney to lose $5.99 per share in 2014, with continued losses thereafter.

The share price is reaching13-year lows, and could easily fall further.“Worthless” is a conceivable scenario.

We told Ransom Notes Radio listeners to sell J.C. Penney shares repeatedly since February.Logically, an investor will make more money by selling today, and reinvesting in a profitable company with a bullish stock chart, than they will by holding J.C. Penney shares and praying for a miracle.

Crista Huff

Crista Huff is a retired stockbroker from a NYSE member investment firm. She writes about market-timing at Goodfellow LLC and is active politically.
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