JC Penney Names Jeffrey Davis Chief Financial Officer


JC Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) announced that Jeffrey Davis is joining the Company as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective today. He will succeed Andrew Drexler, who has been serving as interim chief financial officer while the Company completed its search. Davis will report to Marvin R. Ellison, chairman and chief executive officer of JCPenney.

“On behalf of the board of directors and executive leadership, I’m pleased to welcome Jeff to JCPenney. He brings decades of finance, treasury and strategy experience from a host of leading companies, and will make an outstanding addition to our team,” said Ellison. “Jeff’s expertise will also be a tremendous asset to JCPenney as we continue to differentiate our business in a competitive retail climate and further strengthen our balance sheet moving forward.”

In his role, Davis will be responsible for all financial operations of the Company, including the oversight of finance teams at the JCPenney home office and shared services center in Salt Lake City.  Among his primary objectives will be to continue the Company’s progress in identifying earnings growth opportunities, optimizing pricing, exercising SG&A discipline, managing inventory levels and deleveraging debt.

“JCPenney is a mainstay in American retailing, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to sustain its rich legacy alongside a group of dedicated associates committed to differentiating the Company from its traditional competitors,” said Davis. “I look forward to working with our teams in Plano and Salt Lake to continue strengthening the financial position of JCPenney, further propelling the Company’s momentum.”

Davis most recently served as chief financial officer at Darden Restaurants, overseeing finance and accounting, corporate reporting, tax, internal audit, treasury and investor relations. He also maintained oversight of Darden’s real estate acquisitions, as well as the company’s restaurant development.

Prior to Darden, Davis served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Walmart U.S. stores. Upon joining Walmart in 2006, he served as vice president of finance for its U.S. specialty division before assuming positions of increasing responsibility, including senior vice president of finance and strategy, followed by a promotion to senior vice president and treasurer. Before Walmart, Davis held multiple finance-related positions with Lakeland Tours, McKesson Corporation and The Hillman Company.

Shares of JC Penney closed today at $5.09, up $0.01 or 0.20%. JCP has a 1-year high of $11.30 and a 1-year low of $4.17. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $4.75 and its 200-day moving average is $5.71.

On the ratings front, JCP has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 20, Piper Jaffray analyst Erinn Murphy reiterated a Hold rating on the stock, with a price target of $5.00, which represents a slight downside potential from current levels. On July 12, Citigroup’s Paul Lejuez maintained a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $5.00.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Erinn Murphy and Paul Lejuez have a yearly average loss of -5.1% and a return of 12.4% respectively. Murphy has a success rate of 49% and is ranked #4385 out of 4608 analysts, while Lejuez has a success rate of 61% and is ranked #598.

Sentiment on the street is mostly neutral on JCP stock. Out of 12 analysts who cover the stock, 10 suggest a Hold rating , one suggests a Sell and one recommends to Buy the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $5.61, which represents a potential upside of 10% from where the stock is currently trading.

J. C. Penney Co., Inc. operates department stores, which consist of selling merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores. It sells family apparel and footwear, accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, beauty products through Sephora inside JCPenney and home furnishings.