? in and out of j.c. penney, bill ackman, what is next?
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? good morning, everybody.
Welcome to "market makers." breaking news this morning.
Has been busy.
Activist investor bill ackman resigning from the board of j.c. penney just days after he tried unsuccessfully to oust the current board chairman and.
Julie hyman has been watching it all morning long.
Shares opened higher, now trading lower?
Yes, a couple of things, most analysts have been saying that the whole bill ackman fight with the board has been a sideshow, that the real show is that j.c. penney is struggling and they are concerned that it has enough cash to last through the end of this year in the next several years as sales have been struggling.
J.c. penney comes out with earnings next week on august 20. i know that you were told earlier this morning on surveillance that there are a lot of expectations riding on the august 20 earnings report.
Are we going to hear from them in terms of more progress and plans for a turnaround for the company?
There are still a lot of questions swirling just because -- swirling.
Just because this argument has been resolved does not mean that j.c. penney is in the clear.
Bill, bill ackman is the largest shareholder.
Any idea how much he is losing?
Be crunched the numbers and as the the close yesterday, the value of his estate is down $486 million with a paper loss of $200 million tied to swaps that he bought on the company, so he essentially double down.
When you look at the shares under pressure today, we do not know if he will be selling his stake.
It does not look like he can do that in the short term.
He did come to this agreement with the board and presumably part of it is that he is not going to go selling his shares on the market, but still, there has to be concerned.
Earlier you pointed out that this is not his only retail holding that has been a money loser.
No, it is not.
Borders, he owned about one- third of those shares when that company filed for bankruptcy.
All of that said, we crunch the numbers and for the filings that we have, year to date he is up about $1.2 billion on those investments.
Again, this is according to filings, said that is tricky, and then there is the herbal life short, $200 million in the red on that one.
All right, julie, thank you for the update on the latest bill hackman news resigning from the board of j.c. penney.
Let's bring in robert kaplan, the senior associate dean at harvard business school and worked at goldman sachs.
Robert, good to have you with us again.
Friday, we were talking just after bill axman sent an open letter to the border j.c. penney saying that he had lost confidence in the chairman.
Today, bill act when resigns his seat on the board.
What does that tell you about what happened over the past few days?
I think this is a good thing for all parties, what he realized is if you are going to be fighting the board, you cannot do it as a board member.
You have a fiduciary responsibility on the board in when he realized he could not push them where he wanted, the right thing for him to do was to resign, freeing himself to take action later.
He could not do that as a board member.
Do you think he's getting ready for a proxy fight?
I say that for two reasons.
One, that is clearly a route he could take, but also because he did a proxy fight at target and lost.
My guess is that the next move for him is to go quiet for a while.
As a board member he is in possession of inside information and cannot trade or take action yet, but my guess is that he will watch for a while, weigh his options, see how the company does in the steps for a ceo search.
It would not shock me when proxy season comes around.
That is one of his options, but right now i think he might stand back.
That raises the question about the ceo.
How long do you think that he has before he has to leave and that aggravates other big shareholders?
From the company point of view, they are in the middle of a struggle, as we talked about last week.
Mike ullman knows that this is not just about a couple of quarters.
I do not think that he can worry about how much of a job he has, this board has to worry about improving sales, stabilizing the company, giving customers back.
Bill ackman leaving is a good thing for them.
I was annoyed to ask you, winning this round, how much time as the rest of the board bought themselves to do things the way that they want regardless of what bill ackman thinks?
At least until proxy season, which is not until next spring.
And i do not think that there were any winners or losers here.
I think that this distraction was absolutely bad for everybody.
It made bill ackman look bad, it was a distraction, and it allows the company to review what they need to do and look at their options.
I think the next pivotal moment will be during proxy season before we see another spat here.
Listen, there may be a point where he speaks up again, but the best thing that he can do for the company is leave them more -- leave them alone right now to focus on stabilization.
What about the new appointment to the board of ronald tyson?
He has had experience in retail.
Are you encouraged by that move when it comes to the turnaround strategy?
My only comment is that ron tyso is a good board member to add.
Is this going to make a difference one way or the other?
Is it a solid appointment?
Particularly this decision to step off the board, of what lies there for activists?
A few things -- what -- lesson lies there for activists?
You have responsibility as a board member and you get paid board fees by the company, so you have to act with them.
If you think you are going to stay in the middle of a fight, you might do better to stay on the outside so you have the freedom to take action.
He joined the board because they were listening to him.
But now they know it is the right thing for him to not be on the board.
You are so right, the wisdom of goldman sachs, robert kaplan, professor of management and a former vice president at goldman sachs.
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We will talk to the chief u.s. equity strategist at goldman sachs, coming up on "market makers." ?
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