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JCP PR Ploy Backfires

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Shortly after the J.C. Penney (JCP - Get Report) press release hit last night on how its post-Thanksgiving weekend sales were up 10% I tweeted: "JCP big comps for the holiday weekend but... against what? The company didn't issue post-t'giving a year ago, which likely were a bust."

With the stock's pre-market decline this morning, it appears investors have come to realize the release was little more than a PR ploy that apparently has backfired.

Reality is this: While the company didn't give post-Thanksgiving sales last year they were sandwiched between -26% and -31% quarterly comps.

Against that kind of performance, it isn't hard to show what appears to be a turnaround, especially with, as JCP put it in the press release, "compelling promotions."

More recently, performance overall has improved, so anything in the plus column should not have been a surprise.

The good news, I guess, is that the patient has a pulse.

-- Written by Herb Greenberg

You can contact me at: herbonthestreet@thestreet.com.

http://i.thestreet.com/files/tsc/v2008/photos/all-pics/1204_jcp2_insidelarge.png

Markets

DOW 17,619.51 +23.16 0.13%
S&P 500 2,063.12 +5.48 0.27%
NASDAQ 4,986.8670 +28.3990 0.57%

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