AP News

Ahead of the Bell: JC Penney

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of J.C. Penney rose in premarket trading on Wednesday after two hedge funds disclosed minority stakes in the department store operator.

On Tuesday Glenview Capital Management disclosed in a regulatory filing that it owns about 20.1 million shares of J.C. Penney, or a 9.1 percent interest. This makes Glenview the biggest shareholder in J.C. Penney, according to FactSet.

Hayman Capital Management also announced in a filing that it owns 11.4 million shares, or 5.2 percent, of the Plano, Texas company. That makes Hayman J.C. Penney's sixth-largest shareholder.

Last week former board member Bill Ackman sold his entire 18 percent stake in J.C. Penney to Citigroup for $12.60 per share, or $492.3 million. That's nearly half of the average $25 a share that he paid when he first invested in J.C. Penney in 2010.

J.C. Penney Co.'s shares dropped over the last year and a half as its sales slumped following a shift in strategy implemented by former CEO Ron Johnson. Under Johnson, the chain replaced sales and coupons with everyday low prices and tried to target trendier, more affluent shoppers. But the moves alienated J.C. Penney's customers, and Johnson was replaced in April after 17 months on the job.

J.C. Penney's stock gained 27 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $12.99 in premarket trading about 90 minutes ahead of the market opening. The shares closed at $12.72 on Tuesday. On Friday the stock declined to $12.12, their lowest price since early 2001.

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