J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP): Closing price $13.17
Late Monday it was revealed that Bill Ackman has stepped back in his battle with JCPenney’s Chief Executive Mike Ullman. Ackman, Penney’s largest shareholder, intends to bail on his aggressive drive to quickly replace the department-store chain’s CEO, according to sources for the The New York Post. It was not clear under which conditions Ackman is conceding in his stormy, two-week-long fight with Ullman and Penney’s other board members. However, an inside source told The Post that Ackman appears to have given up on his demand within the next 30 to 45 days, and that the retailer will go forward with a more deliberately paced CEO search, for which it has recruited the headhunting firm Heidrick & Struggles. The person observed that “It’s possible [Ackman has] agreed to wait until the end of the year” to find a successor to Ullman.
JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ:JBLU): Closing price $6.36
JetBlue Airways has posted its preliminary traffic results for July. Traffic in the month increased by 7.3 percent year-over-year, on a capacity rise of 6.8 percent. Load factor for July stood at 87.6 percent, marking an increase of 0.4 points from 2012. The preliminary completion factor was 99 percent and its on-time performance was 63.9 percent. JetBlue’s preliminary passenger revenue per available seat mile for July increased by 5 percent year-over-year. For August, PRASM is expected to rise between 3.5 and 4.5 percent from 2012.
Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NYSE:CAR): Closing price $28.62
Avis announced Monday that it will purchase a 50-percent ownership interest in its existing Brazilian licensee. This investment of around $50 million will permit Avis to significantly increase the footprint of its Avis and Budget brands in the rapidly-growing Brazilian car rental market, and to garner a bigger share of Brazil’s domestic, international-inbound and international-outbound vehicle rental spend.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): Closing price $77.08
Wal-Mart’s division Massmart Holdings Ltd., which is South Africa’s number-one food and household-goods wholesaler, said that it has met with “several important players” in Kenya’s retail industry as it seeks expansion abroad. Chief Executive Grant Pattison commented that “Massmart’s interest in investing in Kenya is well known. We don’t however, comment on acquisitions, potential, speculative or otherwise,” in an e-mailed response to questions. The Nairobi-based Business Daily reported the South African company’s meetings earlier Monday, saying that among possible targets in Kenya, Massmart’s potential interest ignited a dispute as to whether to sell among investors at Naivas Supermarket Ltd.