We have officially passed the one year mark since the transformation to America's favorite store kicked off and J.C. Penney is worse off than when the company put Ron Johnson at the helm.
After more than one year of being told to "be patient" and that "transformations take time," investors did not get the anniversary present they expected, and J.C. Penney shares are trading down more than 15 percent before the market's open.
On the contrary, same-stores sales disappointed for the fourth consecutive quarter — and don't forget, we are talking some really low bars. Same-store sales for the fourth quarter plunged 31.7 percent, a new low for the year. Just when you thought expectations were low enough? Once again, not even close.
(Read More: JC Penney Posts a Huge Loss; Shares Tumble)
Let's highlight some cringe-worthy stats: Traffic for the quarter declined 17 percent, worse than the 13 percent decline for the year. Conversion rates, or the rate at which shoppers become buyers, dropped 10 percent, also worse than the annual average of a drop of 9 percent. And gross margins fell 600 basis points as clearance increased to 24 percent of the mix versus 14 percent of the mix last year.
Don't forget the Internet business sank 34 percent. That is simply hard to believe, especially considering other department stores are reporting 30-percent-plus growth in their ecommerce businesses.