If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. JC Penney apparently took that old adage to heart, when it released “Comments on Holiday Performance.” The press release was only two paragraphs long, with no specifics — much unlike detailed statements released in past months — and investors were spooked. JC Penney stock opened down Wednesday and was trading at more than an 8% discount for most of the day.
Other retail stocks, like Kohl's, Macy's, and Target were also down slightly, but JC Penney saw by far the biggest drop. Here’s the entirety of the company’s December recap:
JCPenney reported today that the Company is pleased with its performance for the holiday period, showing continued progress in its turnaround efforts. Customers responded well to the Company’s offerings this holiday shopping season, both in store and online.
JCPenney also reaffirmed its outlook for the fourth quarter of 2013, as previously set out in the Company’s third quarter earnings release dated Nov. 20, 2013.
That reaffirmation of Q4 outlook was apparently as detailed as JC Penney was willing to get. In December, the company released a similar note titled “Holiday Update” which did include a key metric: comparable same-store sales during the important Thanksgiving weekend. Of course, then JC Penney had a 10% increase to show off. Now we must wonder what they’re hiding.
“If JCP had good things to say about business trends, the company would have shared more,” Sterne Agee retail analyst Charles Grom wrote in a note, according to Reuters.
As of 3:38pm EST, JC Penney stock was down 9.65% to $7.40 a share.