Real Money's Stock of the Day, J.C. Penney (JCP - Get Report) , posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter earnings Thursday and said it expects to be free-cash-flow positive in the coming year.

J.C. Penney said earnings for the three months ending on February 2 came in at 18 cents per share, down 68% from the same period last year but 7 cents ahead of the consensus Street forecast. Group sales were pegged at $3.67 billion, the company said, down 8.9% from last year and just shy of the $3.78 billion consensus collected by Refinitiv. J.C. Penney also said same-store sales fell 4% from the same period last year, a figure that beat the 4.3% analysts' estimate.

"Fix the balance sheet and then play offense. You cannot play offense until you fix the balance sheet. By the way, Jeff Gannet, I know a lot of people are deriding Macy's. Macy's is a hard term. But what was the first thing he did? He fixed the balance sheet," Jim Cramer said on TheStreet's live show Thursday morning. "I don't even think he's really played offense yet. I think the problem with Macy's is generational. That's really the issue. There's a new generation that buys clothes ... I think of myself. The new generation rents the runway."

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