S&P 500 Waves Goodbye to J.C. Penney on Black Friday

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Standard & Poor’s on Friday announced that J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is getting booted from the S&P 500 index effective after markets close on November 29th. It’s just one more embarrassment for the 111 year-old company and another thing to blame on former CEO Ron Johnson.

Replacing Penney’s on the index is Allegion plc (NYSE: ALLE-WI), a spin-off of Ingersoll-Rand plc (NYSE: IR) that will begin trading on the NYSE on December 1st under the ticker symbol “ALLE.” “When-issued” shares of Allegion closed at $43.99 on Friday. The company provides security systems for homes and businesses.

Meanwhile, back at Penney’s, the company’s stock will be added to the S&P MidCap 400. The share price has fallen nearly 50% in the past 12 months, cutting the company’s market cap in half as well. As of Friday’s closing Penney’s market was $1.96 billion.

Compare that to its balance sheet. In its third quarter earnings report, Penney listed inventory of $3.75 billion and net property and equipment of $5.75 billion. The inventory level rose by nearly $250 million sequentially and the reason the company posted an adjusted earnings per share loss of $1.81 in the third quarter was because it had to markdown all that stuff in order to move it.

There are times when it seems to make more sense for the company just to close all its stores, burn all its merchandise, and sell all its property. The company’s turnaround plan is the same plan that it had before Penney’s hired Ron Johnson as CEO and the reason Johnson was hired was to replace that failing plan and CEO Myron Ullman, who got his old job back when Johnson was canned. This company is going nowhere but to the S&P SmallCap 600 — if it lasts that long. And then it will just fade away.

Penney’s shares closed at $8.87 on Friday and fell another $0.14 in after-hours trading. The stock’s 52-week range is $6.24 to $23.10.

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