Bill Ackman and J.C. Penney May Both Be Wrong

The troubled retailer and one of its biggest investors engaged in a verbal sparring match this week.

Shoppers enter a J.C. Penney department store in Dallas in 2005.
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A new earnings report due out Aug. 20 could show whether the company has enough cash to buy itself some time while it pushes forward. Better returns ahead of this fall could provide important indications about the company's health, Kahn says.

"Back to school is a really big season for department stores," she says. "If they don't do well at back to school, that's clearly not a good sign."


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