JCPenney (JCP) just got yet another slap in the face.
As if things weren’t bad enough for the flailing retailer (and for most JCPenney stock investors), news broke this weekend that Standard & Poor’s is booting JCP from the S&P 500 Index.
That’s because the market cap of JCPenney has been slashed dramatically, thanks to the fact that shares of JCP stock have been in near-free fall since early 2012.
While the S&P 500 is seen as the “best single gauge of the large cap U.S. equities market,” Standard & Poor’s said in a statement that JCP stock is now ”more representative of the mid cap market.”
JCP Stock: A Sad Story
It has been hard to look away from the JCP stock saga, which included the failed leadership of short-lived CEO Ron Johnson — a former star at Apple (AAPL) and Target (TGT) — and his move away from (then back to) coupons and sales. That disaster was complemented by a public battle with Bill Ackman, bankruptcy chatter and a spur-of-the-moment secondary offering, among other bad JCP press.
As I pointed out in early October, JCPenney had at that point lost $16.2 billion from its market cap since its 2007 peak. For perspective, that’s more than the entire market cap of rival Macy’s (M), more than twice the market cap of rival Sears Holdings (SHLD), more than the cost of hosting the 2012 London Olympics and nearly three times JPMorgan’s (JPM) London Whale losses.
After that, JCP stock slid even further and lost even more of its market cap, finally finding a 52-week low of $6.24 on Oct. 21.
Since that low, JCP stock has gained 40%, including 3% today … and yet, JCPenney stock still remains down 53% year-to-date, putting its market cap at just $2.8 billion.
Besides, things might be better on a fundamental level, but they sure don’t look great. Just take a look at a few highlights from the most recent JCPenney earnings report:
- JCP posted net sales of $2.78 billion in the most recent quarter — short of analyst hopes for $2.8 billion in sales, down from $2.93 billion during an awful quarter a year ago, and an ugly 30% less than the $4 billion in sales JCPenney registered in 2011 before Ron Johnson began his destruction.
- JCPenney also posted an adjusted net loss of $1.81 per share of JCP stock for the last three months. That was worse than the already-lowered $1.72 per share analysts had slated, and was nearly double the 93 cents per share posted the year prior.
The important holiday shopping season is expected to result in a narrower loss than the one JCP suffered a year ago — but the retailer also has made a habit of missing expectations.
All in all, despite the recent upward momentum in JCPenney stock, it’s still an ugly road. The boot from the S&P 500 is just insult on top of injury for most JCP stock investors.
S&P is replacing JCPenney stock with home and business security company Allegion (ALLE). ALLE stock is being spun off from Ingersoll-Rand (IR). The switch will happen after the close of trading this Friday, Nov. 29.
As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.