2-Star Stocks Poised to Plunge: J.C. Penney?

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Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, department store operator J.C. Penney (NYS: JCP) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at J.C. Penney's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

J.C. Penneyfacts

Headquarters (Founded)Plano, Texas (1902)
Market Cap$7.38 billion
IndustryDepartment stores
Trailing-12-Month Revenue$17.5 billion
ManagementCEO Ronald Johnson (since November 2011)
CFO Michael Dastugue (since January 2011)
Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years)5.3%
Cash/Debt$1.09 billion / $3.1 billion
Dividend Yield2.3%
CompetitorsKohl's
Macy's
Target

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 25% of the 728 members who have rated J.C. Penney believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just a couple of weeks ago, one of those bears, elizabethzen, seriously questioned the company's new approach:

So [J.C. Penney] is going to follow the Apple Store model with more and better informed sales help? ... Yes, [J.C. Penney] can add clerks but will they be knowledgeable about all the products in the store? Not the limited inventory to be found in an Apple store but thousands of clothing, jewelry, home products, and other items [J.C. Penney] carries? And will these clerks feel passionately that [J.C. Penney's] products are superior to those in other stores? And will customers suddenly think that shopping at [J.C. Penney] is an experience, that the products are special and worth more than similar things sold elsewhere. Does the name Penney's have status, or does it sound more like a place to shop for inexpensive but necessary items - like underwear and basic pieces of clothing? [J.C. Penney] stands for cheap and not so chic, even with an army of new clerks and the associated rise in overhead.

What do you think about J.C. Penney, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to protect your portfolio from any undue risk. Staying away from dangerous stocks is crucial to securing your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to flag them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the newTrackPoisedToCAPS account.

At the time this article was published Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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