Hayman Capital Buys 5.2 Percent Stake in J.C. Penney

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    Hayman Capital Management is disclosing a stake in J.C. Penney Co. as the retailer's shares trade at their lowest prices in more than a decade.

    In a regulatory filing Tuesday, Hayman Capital disclosed ownership of 11.4 million shares, which represents a 5.2-percent stake in JC Penney. According to FactSet, that would make Hayman Penney's fifth-largest shareholder.

    The filing states that the shares "were not acquired and are not held for the purpose of or with the effect of changing or influencing the control of the issuer," meaning the firm does not aim to have a say in management decisions.

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

    The company took more than $1 billion in losses in its latest fiscal year, and it is reversing some of the changes made under Johnson.

    Last week, J.C. Penney's largest investor sold his entire 18 percent stake in the company. Bill Ackman and Pershing Square Capital Management paid $25 per share for Penney's stock in 2010, and they disclosed Wednesday that Ackman sold the stock for $12.60 per share. Ackman owned 39.1 million shares, or an 18-percent stake in the company. The sale came after Ackman resigned from Penney's board as part of a deal to resolve an unusually public battle between the activist investor and the struggling department store operator.

    J.C. Penney Co. Inc. shares fell on Friday to $12.12, their lowest price since early 2001. The stock closed at $12.48. In morning trading Monday, shares added8 cents to $12.56..