Can J.C. Penney close its way to prosperity? JPMorgan analyst Matthew Boss seems to think so -- and it looks like the market agrees.
Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) rose more than 5% Monday and are on track to close at their highest price since last September. The stock is now up nearly 20% in 2014.
Who's the Boss? The catalyst for Monday's move was a classic case of Wall Street celebrating what appears to be bad news. JPMorgan's Boss still has a "neutral" rating on the stock.
And his price target for the end of 2015 is $11 -- just 3% higher than current levels.
Boss was mainly optimistic about the possibility of JCP increasing its profits by getting rid of a LOT more stores than the 33 it already announced it was closing back in January.
Boss estimates that if the retailer shuttered 300 of its nearly 1,100 stores, that could increase earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization by $450 million. And that could justify a stock price of more than $20 a share.
JCP: Just Can't Profit. Let's be blunt. JCP is still a mess.
And while new-ish CEO Myron Ullman is doing his best to repair the damage created by his predecessor Ron Johnson -- who was actually lured away from Apple (AAPL) to replace Ullman in the first place -- he has a long way to go.
Johnson tried to make JCP cool. Like Apple. But nobody shopped at JCP because they thought the retailer was at the forefront of the latest fashion trends. They just wanted cheap pairs of St. John's Bay jeans. That's not the worst thing in the world.
Yes, Ullman is getting rid of some of the store-within-a-store concepts that Johnson created. Ullman is also bringing back promotions and coupons, two things that Johnson curiously viewed as the equivalent of a four-letter curse word.
Sales are even growing again at J.C. Penney. That's a good thing. But it's a slow pace.
Analysts are forecasting a 4.6% increase in annual revenue this year to $12.4 billion. That is nearly 30% lower than what the retailer reported in 2012.
Finally, it's hard to get excited about JCP just because it might cut costs.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) went viral on Twitter Wednesday ... and not in a good way.
The bank, which has already had its share of bad press recently, announced plans to have one of its senior executives, Jimmy Lee, "take over" the @JPMorgan handle Thursday afternoon to answer questions from the social media masses.
Tomorrow at 1pm ET $JPM Vice Chairman Jimmy Lee takes over @JPMorgan to answer your questions for 1 hour. MOREBen Rooney - Nov 14, 2013 10:37 AM ET
Goldman's profits doubled. JPMorgan (JPM) and Citigroup (C) topped expectations. Next up, Bank of America.
The big banks have reported strong earnings this week, and traders on StockTwits are betting the trend will continue with Bank of America (BAC), which releases second-quarter results Wednesday.
$GS great numbers from banks. Now all eyes will turn to $BAC
Following a blockbuster report from Goldman Sachs (GS), shares Bank of America briefly rose above MOREBen Rooney - Jul 16, 2013 2:10 PM ET
It's that time of year again. Most of the nation's big banks have disclosed how much chief executives earned in 2012. While some had their compensation cut, others received hefty raises.
One caveat: Wells Fargo (WFC) CEO John Stumpf, who received $17.6 million in total compensation in 2011, is not on the list. Wells has not yet disclosed Stumpf's 2012 compensation.
Lloyd Blankfein: $21 million
The CEO of Goldman MOREBen Rooney - Feb 25, 2013 5:26 AM ET
Massachusetts regulators on Friday fined a Citigroup unit $2 million for failing to prevent analysts from illegally leaking confidential information about Facebook's initial public offering.
Citigroup (C) was one of several banks that competed to underwrite Facebook's (FB) IPO, along with lead underwriter Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs (GS), Bank of America (BAC) and others.
Under U.S. securities law, IPO underwriters are not allowed to publish research on a company until MOREBen Rooney - Oct 26, 2012 11:11 AM ET
Banks have had their share of bad publicity recently, but investors continue to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Standard Chartered (SCBFF) is a prime example.
The British bank's stock has recouped nearly all of the losses sustained earlier this month, when the bank was accused of laundering money for Iran.
U.S.-listed shares plunged to a low of $18.65 on Aug. 7, one day after banking regulators in New York threatened to MOREBen Rooney - Aug 24, 2012 7:04 AM ET
Even billionaire George Soros caught Facebook (FB) fever this spring.
The hedge fund manager purchased 341,000 shares of the social media company during the second quarter, according to SEC filings.
Hedge fund managers aren't forced to specify when during a quarter they purchased stakes in various firms. Still, it's safe to say that the investor who infamously made $1 billion shorting the British pound is under water on his Facebook bet.
Related: Warren MOREMaureen Farrell - Aug 14, 2012 7:13 PM ET
U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Wednesday that European Union leaders have the political will to keep the euro currency union from breaking apart.
"They've decided that it's in their interest to hold this together," Geithner said at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. "They tell us privately that they will do whatever is necessary to hold it together."
Geithner backed the steps EU leaders have outlined to form a banking MOREBen Rooney - Jun 13, 2012 5:43 PM ET
A month after revealing a multi-billion trading loss, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took the hot seat on Capitol Hill. Dimon, who was once dubbed President Obama's favorite banker, was grilled by both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee.
During the two-hour hearing, Dimon said that he cannot defend the trades that led to the bank's massive multi-billion loss.
"The way it was contrived between January to March, MOREHibah Yousuf - Jun 13, 2012 12:15 PM ET
A battle is brewing over how the swaps or derivatives market is regulated.
As part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission agency was tasked with the job of monitoring the $700 trillion derivatives market. Derivatives are the instruments behind JPMorgan's (JPM) recent loss of at least $2 billion and the trades that helped blow up AIG (AIG), Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns.
But CFTC chairman Gary MOREMaureen Farrell - Jun 7, 2012 5:11 PM ET
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