What To Make Of J.C. Penney (JCP)?

Time appears to be running short for current J.C. Penney (JCP) CEO Ron Johnson, possibly as short as 10 months. Recent reports reveal concerns that the retailer’s board of directors is restless and may only give Johnson until the end of 2013 to right the J.C. Penney ship. But is Penney even a good long-term investment?

Johnson was a former Apple senior vice president, having been in charge of strategy for the tech giant’s retail stores, before joining Penney in November 2011. He has launched various initiatives in an attempt to revamp the struggling retailer. Still, investors have refused to put their full faith in any of his plans, with the stock down over 60% in the last 12 months.

Part of the big drop as of late includes the company’s reported 32% decline in same-store sales during the fourth quarter. This pushed earnings to a loss of $1.95 per share, well below the consensus of a $0.24 per share loss. This signals that Penney’s turnaround is taking a bit longer than expected. CEO Johnson has been faulted for his choices, and the recent quarterly results have led to back-peddling on his part. This includes the misstep on sales campaigns. The retailer now plans to have sales each week.

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