J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP): Current price $13.32
Hedge-fund investors that include J. Kyle Bass are still betting on the iconic retailer, but Chief Executive Mike Ullman is wasting no time following the second-quarter results that he would likely prefer to forget by endeavoring to retrieve shoppers alienated during the tenure of Chief Executive Ron Johnson — by reversing many of his changes that did the damage. Penney said that it intends to close some of the home-goods boutiques from the Johnson administration, but it has not indicated which.
In hopes of improving the numbers, the company will devote extra floor space to towels, cooking utensils, and more profitable categories like luggage and window treatments. Analyst Liz Dunn at Macquarie Group observed Tuesday on Bloomberg Television that, “The third quarter is make or break,” rating the shares Neutral, which is the equivalent of Hold.
Meanwhile, analysts estimate that J.C. Penney will continue to report losses for the next four quarters, but with each loss smaller than the results the firm reported Tuesday.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F): Current price $16.27
On Wednesday, Ford India told The Times of India that it has stopped bookings of some of the variants of its compact sports utility vehicle ‘EcoSport’ due to heavy demand. A company spokesperson said that, “We are witnessing an extended waiting period on certain variants and have temporarily stopped taking bookings on a few variants.”
The firm did not divulge the amount of the booking backlog. Dealer sources report that the stopping of bookings differs among dealerships. While some dealers have stopped bookings of entry-level variant of the diesel version, others are said to not be taking orders for top-end and mid-level variants of the EcoSport in diesel option.
Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT): Current price $65.53
Target Corp. warned Wednesday that its annual profit would probably be close to the low end of its forecast as it expects continued cautious consumer spending, making it the most recent retailer to indicate that domestic shoppers are still holding back. The retailer’s second-quarter profit was just over expectations while its sales missed estimates.
A problem is that the Canadian business is turning out to be more expensive than Target anticipated and will likely cut into full-year profit. Chairman and Chief Executive Gregg Steinhafel predicted in a statement that he expects American shoppers to remain cautious “in the face of ongoing household budget pressures.”