Best Buy vs. JCP: Battle of the Retail Turnarounds
In the midst of two retail turnaround attempts, Best Buy stock has nearly doubled while J.C. Penney's stock has crumbled. But only one company—guess which—seems to be showing turnaround progress, analysts told CNBC.
Anthony Chukumba, a senior research analyst at BB&T Capital Markets, called Best Buy's performance so far "100 percent real, no question about it" during an interview on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
"In Best Buy, you had a company that was $50 billion in sales, the largest brick-and-mortar consumer electronics retailer but had just kind of gotten behind the times, became a little bit bloated," he said.
With a new management team at the helm, the company now has the relevant experience to turn around, Chukumba added. He currently has a "buy" rating and a $21 price target on Best Buy stock.
A large question mark surrounding the company was also answered when founder Richard Schulze decided against trying to take the company private. On Monday, the company announced Schulze would return to the company as chairman emeritus.
"I think that also it's just nice to have that soap opera behind the company," he added. "I think it was a real distraction for senior management and employees throughout the organization so now they can just focus on the turnaround at hand."
Rick Snyder, a retail specialist at Maxim Group, was more bearish on J.C. Penney's ongoing turnaround attempt.
"There's not really a positive metric that I think anyone can point to that would indicate that this company is on the verge of a turnaround," Snyder said. He has a "sell" rating and a $10 price target on the company's shares.
"I continue to hear rumblings from the vendor community that they're all worried about J.C. Penney's cash-flow situation and whether they're going to be around a few years from now," he said.
Bowing to pressure to be more promotional to reverse the continued drops in same-store sales growth, J.C. Penney's CEO Ron Johnson announced the company would bring back weekly sales.
Although Snyder said the company is trying to bring back its previous customers through sales, he thinks those same customers aren't going to be buying the current merchandise.
"They really have to do a major customer acquisition to get traffic back into the stores in my opinion," he said.
—By CNBC.com's Katie Little; Follow on Twitter
BB&T Capital Markets makes a market in Best Buy securities. Maxim makes a market in JCPenney securities.