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Retail In The Red: Will J.C. Penney Rise Up To Fellow Department Store Stocks?

Retail stocks like J.C. Penney could continue to fall if fears that negative cash flow is too much to maintain payments to suppliers. Considering that the upcoming holiday season is a good time to determine whether a retailer’s sales are improving each month, we decided to compare J.C. Penney to similar department stores.

We looked to see which among these retail stocks has more positive cash flow. Limiting our screen to those companies with long term debt to equity ratios and total debt to equity ratios under 0.5, only four stocks remained.

They are listed below starting with the department store with the least amount of debt on its books.

Click on the interactive chart below to see monthly returns over time. 

Does the low debt at these department stores make them better investments than J.C. Penney? Use the list below as a starting point for your own analysis. 

1. Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. ( SHOS): Sells home appliances, hardware, tools, and lawn and garden equipment in the United States. Market cap at $734.81M, most recent closing price at $31.81.

Long term Debt/Equity: 0.

Total Debt/Equity: 0.06


2. Saks Incorporated ( SKS): Operates fashion retail stores in the United States. Market cap at $2.32B, most recent closing price at $15.93.

Long term Debt/Equity: 0.21.

Total Debt/Equity: 0.3.


3. The TJX Companies, Inc. ( TJX): Operates as an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States and internationally. Market cap at $40.22B, most recent closing price at $56.19.

Long term Debt/Equity: 0.33.

Total Debt/Equity: 0.33.


4. Dillard's Inc. ( DDS): Operates as an apparel and home furnishing retailer in the United States. Market cap at $3.66B, most recent closing price at $78.99.

Long term Debt/Equity: 0.41.

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