J.C. Penney ( JCP) is the epitome of a struggling retailer. Just when you think it can't get any worse for the stock, it stumbles further. Ron Johnson, hailed by many in the value investing crowd as the cure for the old-time retailer, was unsuccessful in his stint as chief executive officer, and same-store sales fell off a cliff. Then Bill Ackman, one of the stock's biggest proponents, threw in the towel, quit the board of directors, and sold his stake.
This morning, the company's secondary stock offering was priced at $9.65 per share, 7% below yesterday' s closing price, and a level the stock has not seen since 1986. Although the company is asset rich in terms of real estate, owning more than 400 store locations, I'm not sure the dust has settled yet on the stock. It remains on my watch list. JCP data by YCharts The other is a much smaller name, toy company JAKKS Pacific ( JAKK), which I wrote about in July.
At the time, the company had just reported a terrible quarter, and the share fell 40%. Since then, the stock has fallen another 33%. Analyst estimates are calling for a return to profitability in 2014, albeit a very small profit. While intrigued, I am not ready to pull the trigger on this one yet either. It's still a pretty messy situation, but one that bears watching. JAKK data by YCharts Both of these stocks could fall further; I am not yet convinced that the crowd has given up on either. At the time of publication, the author was long Krispy Kreme and Gannett.Follow @JonMHellerCFAThis article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.