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116-Year-Old JC Penney Now a Penny Stock

After over a century as a major force in U.S. retailing, the fortunes of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) are such that its share price dropped below $1 to $0.99. It shows how much the competition from e-commerce and other brick-and-mortar retailers has undermined the company’s fortunes.

The fall in J.C. Penney shares is extraordinary. The stock has declined 87% over the past five years, while the S&P 500 is up 59%. Over the same period, shares of have risen 271%. The stark difference shows the extent to which online sales have cannibalized the balance of the industry, particularly the weakest companies in the sector.

Ten years ago, J.C. Penney’s revenue was $17.5 billion and its net income was $570 million. In 2018, revenue has dropped to $12.5 billion, and the company posted a net loss of $120 million. Over the same time frame, same-store sales have been decimated, and J.C. Penney has closed scores of stores.