Soros Fund Starts J.C. Penney Stake ~ market folly

Friday, April 26, 2013

Soros Fund Starts J.C. Penney Stake

George Soros' family office Soros Fund Management filed a 13G with the SEC late yesterday afternoon regarding shares of J.C. Penney (JCP).  Per the filing, Soros Fund has revealed a 7.9% stake in JCP with almost 17.4 million shares.

This is a brand new position for the family office as they did not disclose a stake at the end of 2012 in their most recent 13F filing.  The 13G just filed was required due to portfolio activity on April 15th.

CEO Ron Johnson was recently fired from JCP and shares have risen since then.  He was originally recommended by Pershing Square's Bill Ackman and the company will now turn to new management.

We've highlighted how Bill Ackman has a large stake in J.C. Penney and have posted up Ackman's presentation on JCP before.  There's also one coincidence here: both Pershing Square and Soros Fund share the same New York office building address.  Perhaps Ackman recently gave an elevator pitch?

Shares of JCP have fallen from $35 down to around $16 over the past year as they have struggled amidst a turnaround plan involving the company's stores.

Per Google Finance, J.C. Penney is "a retailer, operating 1,102 department stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico as of January 28, 2012. Its business consists of selling merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores and through its Internet Website at It sells family apparel and footwear, accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, beauty products through Sephora inside jcpenney and home furnishings."

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