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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
(Mark One)
 
x
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended January 28, 2017
or
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from ______________ to ________________
Commission File Number: 001-15274
jcpenneylogoa01a04.jpg
 
 
J. C. PENNEY COMPANY, INC.
 
 
 
 
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
 
Delaware
 
 
26-0037077
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
 
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
6501 Legacy Drive, Plano, Texas 75024-3698
 
 
 
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
 
 
 
(Zip Code)
 
 
 
 
(972) 431-1000
 
 
 
 
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)
 
 
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of each class
 
 
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock of 50 cents par value
 
 
 
New York Stock Exchange
Preferred Stock Purchase Rights
 
 
 
New York Stock Exchange
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
 
 
 
None
 
 
 
 
(Title of class)
 
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.  Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.  Yes o No x 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes x No o 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Website, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).  Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer   x
Accelerated filer  o
Non-accelerated filer  o
Smaller reporting company    o 
 
 
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes o No x  
State the aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter (July 30, 2016). $2,955,141,924  
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant's classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.
308,619,449 shares of Common Stock of 50 cents par value, as of March 20, 2017.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Documents from which portions are incorporated by reference
 
Parts of the Form 10-K into which incorporated
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. 2017 Proxy Statement
 
Part III


Table of Contents

INDEX
 
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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PART I 
Item 1. Business
 
Business Overview
 
J. C. Penney Company, Inc. is a holding company whose principal operating subsidiary is J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. (JCP). JCP was incorporated in Delaware in 1924, and J. C. Penney Company, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in 2002, when the holding company structure was implemented. The new holding company assumed the name J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (Company). The holding company has no independent assets or operations, and no direct subsidiaries other than JCP. Common stock of the Company is publicly traded under the symbol “JCP” on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company is a co-obligor (or guarantor, as appropriate) regarding the payment of principal and interest on JCP’s outstanding debt securities. The guarantee by the Company of certain of JCP’s outstanding debt securities is full and unconditional. The holding company and its consolidated subsidiaries, including JCP, are collectively referred to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as “we,” “us,” “our,” “ourselves,” “Company” or “JCPenney.”
 
Since our founding by James Cash Penney in 1902, we have grown to be a major retailer, operating 1,013 department stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico as of January 28, 2017. Our fiscal year ends on the Saturday closest to January 31. Unless otherwise stated, references to years in this report relate to fiscal years, rather than to calendar years. Fiscal year 2016 ended on January 28, 2017; fiscal year 2015 ended on January 30, 2016; and fiscal year 2014 ended on January 31, 2015. Each consisted of 52 weeks.
 
Our business consists of selling merchandise and services to consumers through our department stores and our website at jcpenney.com, which utilizes fully optimized applications for desktop, mobile and tablet devices. Our department stores and website generally serve the same type of customers, our website offers virtually the same mix of merchandise as our store assortment plus other extended categories that are not offered in store, and our department stores generally accept returns from sales made in stores and via our website. We fulfill online customer purchases by direct shipment to the customer from our distribution facilities and stores or from our suppliers' warehouses and by in store customer pick up. We sell family apparel and footwear, accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, beauty products through Sephora inside JCPenney, home furnishings and large appliances. In addition, our department stores provide our customers with services such as styling salon, optical, portrait photography and custom decorating. 
 
Based on how we categorized our divisions in 2016, our merchandise mix of total net sales over the last three years was as follows: 
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
Women’s apparel
 
24
%
 
25
%
 
26
%
Men’s apparel and accessories
 
22
%
 
22
%
 
22
%
Home
 
13
%
 
12
%
 
12
%
Women’s accessories, including Sephora
 
13
%
 
12
%
 
11
%
Children’s apparel
 
10
%
 
10
%
 
10
%
Footwear and handbags
 
8
%
 
8
%
 
8
%
Jewelry
 
6
%
 
6
%
 
6
%
Services and other
 
4
%
 
5
%
 
5
%
 
 
100
%
 
100
%
 
100
%

Operating Strategy

We have developed a strategic framework that focuses on the following three pillars:

Private brands;
Omnichannel; and
Revenue per customer.

We believe these three pillars provide the foundation to increase loyalty with our customers and enable the organization to simplify its focus by ensuring that resources and capital investments are effectively allocated to drive these priorities.

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Our first priority is private brands. To differentiate us with the consumer, we plan to leverage our sourcing and private brand infrastructure to increase our production of private brands with style, quality and value. With an established global network of sourcing offices, along with a team of in-house designers, we plan to grow private brand penetration to enhance our profitability.

Our second priority is to become a world-class omnichannel retailer. We have a rich heritage of being a catalog retailer and have much of our omnichannel infrastructure already in place. We are digitally connected with our customers via a mobile app and the Internet and have three large, strategically located dot-com distribution centers with approximately five million square feet of space for providing expanded assortment and order fulfillment. Additionally, our objective is to create a seamless connection between our digital and brick-and-mortar operations through initiatives such as a mobile app that is designed to be deeply integrated with the store experience and buy-online-pick-up-in-store same day (BOPIS).
 
Our final strategic priority is increasing revenue per customer. Within our new brand platform of "Get Your Penney's Worth," it is our mission to help our customer find what she loves for less time, money and effort. To accomplish this mission, we see an increased opportunity to grow shopping frequency and the amount that customers spend on every transaction. We plan to address this opportunity by enhancing our cross-merchandising appeal with initiatives to upgrade each store’s center core, to add appliances and other home categories to our merchandise assortment, and to continue the rollout of our Sephora inside JCPenney locations.

Competition and Seasonality
 
The business of selling merchandise and services is highly competitive. We are one of the largest department store and e-commerce retailers in the United States, and we have numerous competitors, as further described in Item 1A, Risk Factors. Many factors enter into the competition for the consumer’s patronage, including merchandise assortment, advertising, price, quality, service, location, reputation, credit availability, customer loyalty and availability of in-store services such as styling salon, optical, portrait photography and custom decorating. Our annual earnings depend to a great extent on the results of operations for the last quarter of the fiscal year, which includes the holiday season, when a significant portion of our sales and profits are recorded.

Trademarks
 
The JCPenney®, JCP®, Liz Claiborne®, Claiborne®, Okie Dokie®, Worthington®, a.n.a®, St. John’s Bay®, The Original Arizona Jean Company®, Ambrielle®, Decree®, Stafford®, J. Ferrar®, Xersion®, Belle + Sky®, Total Girl®, monet®, JCPenney Home®, Studio JCP Home™, Home Collection by JCPenney™, Made for Life™, Boutique+™, Stylus®, Sleep Chic®, Home Expressions® and Cooks JCPenney Home™ trademarks, as well as certain other trademarks, have been registered, or are the subject of pending trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and with the registries of many foreign countries and/or are protected by common law. We consider our marks and the accompanying name recognition to be valuable to our business.
 
Website Availability
 
We maintain an Internet website at www.jcpenney.com and make available free of charge through this website our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all related amendments to those reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after the materials are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, our website provides press releases, access to webcasts of management presentations and other materials useful in evaluating our Company.
 
Suppliers
 
We have a diversified supplier base, both domestic and foreign, and are not dependent to any significant degree on any single supplier. We purchase our merchandise from approximately 2,600 domestic and foreign suppliers, many of whom have done business with us for many years. In addition to our Plano, Texas home office, we, through our purchasing subsidiary, maintained buying and quality assurance offices in 10 foreign countries as of January 28, 2017
 

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Employment
 
The Company and its consolidated subsidiaries employed approximately 106,000 full-time and part-time employees as of January 28, 2017.
 
Environmental Matters
 
Environmental protection requirements did not have a material effect upon our operations during 2016. It is possible that compliance with such requirements (including any new requirements) would lengthen lead time in expansion or renovation plans and increase construction costs, and therefore operating costs, due in part to the expense and time required to conduct environmental and ecological studies and any required remediation.
 
As of January 28, 2017, we estimated our total potential environmental liabilities to range from $20 million to $26 million and recorded our best estimate of $24 million in Other accounts payable and accrued expenses and Other liabilities in the Consolidated Balance Sheet as of that date. This estimate covered potential liabilities primarily related to underground storage tanks, remediation of environmental conditions involving our former drugstore locations and asbestos removal in connection with approved plans to renovate or dispose of our facilities. We continue to assess required remediation and the adequacy of environmental reserves as new information becomes available and known conditions are further delineated. If we were to incur losses at the upper end of the estimated range, we do not believe that such losses would have a material effect on our financial condition, results of operations or liquidity. 

Executive Officers of the Registrant  

The following is a list, as of March 20, 2017, of the names and ages of the executive officers of J. C. Penney Company, Inc. and of the offices and other positions held by each such person with the Company. These officers hold identical positions with JCP.  There is no family relationship between any of the named persons.
Name
  
Offices and Other Positions Held With the Company
  
Age
Marvin R. Ellison
  
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
  
52
Edward J. Record
  
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  
48
Michael Amend
 
Executive Vice President, Omnichannel
 
39
Brynn L. Evanson
 
Executive Vice President, Human Resources
 
47
Janet M. Link
  
Executive Vice President, General Counsel
  
47
Joseph M. McFarland
 
Executive Vice President, Stores
 
47
Therace M. Risch
 
Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer
 
44
Michael Robbins
 
Executive Vice President, Supply Chain
 
51
John J. Tighe
 
Executive Vice President, Chief Merchant
 
48
Mary Beth West*
 
Executive Vice President, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer
 
54
Andrew S. Drexler
  
Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller
  
46

* Ms. West has notified the Company that she is voluntarily terminating her employment, effective April 1, 2017.

Mr. Ellison has served as Chairman of the Board since August 2016, Chief Executive Officer since 2015, and as a director of the Company and a director of JCP since 2014. He previously served as President of the Company from 2014 to 2015. Prior to joining the Company, he served as Executive Vice President - U.S. Stores of The Home Depot, Inc. (home improvement supplies retailer) from 2008 to 2014. His prior roles with The Home Depot, Inc. included President - Northern Division from 2006 to 2008, Senior Vice President - Logistics from 2005 to 2006, Vice President - Logistics from 2004 to 2005, and Vice President - Loss Prevention from 2002 to 2004. Mr. Ellison began his career with Target Corporation (retailer) where he served in a variety of operational roles. Mr. Ellison currently serves as a director of FedEx Corporation (courier delivery services), the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National Retail Federation.

Mr. Record has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Company and as a director of JCP since 2014. Prior to joining the Company, he served in positions of increasing responsibility with Stage Stores, Inc. (apparel retailer), including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 2010 to 2014, Chief Financial Officer from 2007 to 2010 and Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer from May 2007 to September 2007. Mr. Record also served as Senior Vice President of Finance of Kohl’s Corporation (department store retailer) from 2005 to 2007. Prior to that, he served

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with Belk, Inc. (department store retailer) as Senior Vice President of Finance and Controller from April 2005 to October 2005 and Senior Vice President and Controller from 2002 to 2005.

Mr. Amend has served as Executive Vice President, Omnichannel since 2015. Prior to joining the Company, he served as Vice President of Online, Mobile and Omnichannel at The Home Depot, Inc. (home improvement supplies retailer) from 2011 to 2015. Mr. Amend also served as Chief Technology Officer of Online at Dell, Inc. (computer technology company) from 2008 to 2011 and as Deputy Chief Technology Officer at BEA Systems, Inc. (enterprise infrastructure software developer) from 2003 to 2008.
Ms. Evanson has served as Executive Vice President, Human Resources since 2013. Prior to that she served as Vice President, Compensation, Benefits and Talent Operations from 2010 to 2013 and Director of Compensation from 2009 to 2010. Prior to joining the Company, she worked at the Dayton Hudson Corporation (retailer) from 1991 to 2009 (renamed Target Corporation in 2000). Ms. Evanson began her career with Marshall Field’s (department store retailer) where she advanced through positions in stores, finance, human resources and merchandising and moved to the Target stores division in 2000, ultimately serving as Director of Executive Compensation and Retirement Plans.
Ms. Link has served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel since 2015. Prior to that, she served as interim General Counsel from March 2015 to May 2015 and as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel from 2014 to 2015. Prior to joining the Company, she served as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel of CC Media Holdings, Inc. (now known as iHeart Media Holdings, Inc.) (mass media company) and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (outdoor advertising) from 2013 to 2014 and as Vice President, Associate General Counsel - Litigation from 2010 to 2013. She also served as Interim General Counsel of Clear Channel Outdoor - Americas (outdoor advertising) from 2010 to 2011. Ms. Link was a partner with Latham & Watkins LLP (law firm) from 2005 to 2010 where she was the Vice-Chair of the Global Litigation Department.
Mr. McFarland has served as Executive Vice President, Stores since January 2016. From 2007 to 2015, he served as President, Northern and Western Divisions of The Home Depot, Inc. (home improvement supplies retailer), with which he served in positions of increasing responsibility since 1993.

Ms. Risch has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer since 2015. Prior to joining the Company, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Country Financial (insurance and investment services) from 2014 to 2015. Prior to that, Ms. Risch spent 10 years at Target Corporation (retailer) in a variety of technology roles of increasing responsibility, including Vice President of Technology Delivery Services from 2012 to 2014 and Vice President, Business Technology Team from 2009 to 2012.

Mr. Robbins has served as Executive Vice President, Supply Chain since January 2016. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President, Supply Chain from August 2015 to January 2016. From 2012 to 2015, Mr. Robbins served as Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain at Target Corporation (retailer), with which he served in positions of increasing responsibility since 2001, including Senior Vice President of Distribution Operations from 2010 to 2012, Vice President of Pharmacy from 2008 to 2010 and Regional Vice President of West Coast Distribution from 2006 to 2008.

Mr. Tighe has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Merchant since 2015. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President and Senior General Merchandise Manager, Men’s Apparel, from 2012 to 2015, Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager, Home, from 2010 to 2012, Senior Vice President, jcp.com, from 2009 to 2010, Divisional Vice President, Junior’s Sportswear, Missy Casual and Special Sizes, from 2004 to 2009, and Buyer, Jr. Denim, from 2002 to 2004. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Tighe served in a variety of merchandising roles for May Department Stores.

Ms. West has served as Executive Vice President, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer of the Company since 2015 and as a director of JCP since August 2016. She previously served as director of the Company from 2005 to 2015. Prior to joining the Company, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Category and Marketing Officer of Mondelez International, Inc. (branded foods and beverages) from 2012 to 2015. Ms. West also served in positions of increasing importance at Kraft Foods, Inc. from 1986 to 2012, including Executive Vice President and Chief Category and Marketing Officer from 2010 to 2012, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer from 2007 to 2010, Group Vice President and President, Kraft Foods North American Beverage Sector from 2006 to 2007, Group Vice President and President, Kraft Foods North America Grocery Segment from 2004 to 2006, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Meals Division from 2001 to 2004, and Vice President, New Meals Division from 1999 to 2001. Ms. West currently serves as a Director of Hasbro, Inc. (toy and board game company).

Mr. Drexler has served as Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller since 2015. Prior to joining the Company, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Giant Eagle, Inc. (grocery retailer) from 2014 to

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2015. He also served as Senior Vice President, Finance, and Corporate Controller for GNC Holdings, Inc. (health and nutrition retailer) from 2011 to 2014. Prior to that, Mr. Drexler spent 11 years at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in roles of increasing responsibility, including Vice President of Finance for the information systems division from 2010 to 2011. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of roles with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP (accounting firm). Mr. Drexler is a certified public accountant.
Item 1A. Risk Factors

The following risk factors should be read carefully in connection with evaluating our business and the forward-looking information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Any of the following risks could materially adversely affect our business, operating results, financial condition and the actual outcome of matters as to which forward-looking statements are made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Our ability to sustain profitable growth is subject to both the risks affecting our business generally and the inherent difficulties associated with implementing our strategic plan.

As we position the Company for long-term growth, it may take longer than expected to achieve our objectives, and actual results may be materially less than planned. Our ability to improve our operating results depends upon a significant number of factors, some of which are beyond our control, including:

customer response to our marketing and merchandise strategies;

our ability to achieve profitable sales and to make adjustments in response to changing conditions;

our ability to respond to competitive pressures in our industry;

our ability to effectively manage inventory;

the success of our omnichannel strategy;

our ability to benefit from capital improvements made to our store environment;

our ability to respond to any unanticipated changes in expected cash flows, liquidity and cash needs, including our ability to obtain any additional financing or other liquidity enhancing transactions, if and when needed;

our ability to achieve positive cash flow;

our ability to access an adequate and uninterrupted supply of merchandise from suppliers at expected levels and on acceptable terms;

changes to the regulatory environment in which our business operates; and

general economic conditions.

There is no assurance that our marketing, merchandising and omnichannel strategies, or any future adjustments to our strategies, will improve our operating results.

We operate in a highly competitive industry, which could adversely impact our sales and profitability.

The retail industry is highly competitive, with few barriers to entry. We compete with many other local, regional and national retailers for customers, employees, locations, merchandise, services and other important aspects of our business. Those competitors include other department stores, discounters, home furnishing stores, large appliance retailers, specialty retailers, wholesale clubs, direct-to-consumer businesses, including those on the Internet, and other forms of retail commerce. Some competitors are larger than JCPenney, and/or have greater financial resources available to them, and, as a result, may be able to devote greater resources to sourcing, promoting, selling their products, updating their store environment and updating their technology. Competition is characterized by many factors, including merchandise assortment, advertising, price, quality, service, location, reputation, credit availability, customer loyalty and availability of in-store services, such as styling salon, optical, portrait photography and custom decorating. We have experienced, and anticipate that we will continue to experience

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for at least the foreseeable future, significant competition from our competitors. The performance of competitors as well as changes in their pricing and promotional policies, marketing activities, customer loyalty programs, availability of in-store services, new store openings, store renovations, launches of Internet websites or mobile platforms, brand launches and other merchandise and operational strategies could cause us to have lower sales, lower gross margin and/or higher operating expenses such as marketing costs and other selling, general and administrative expenses, which in turn could have an adverse impact on our profitability.

Our sales and operating results depend on our ability to develop merchandise offerings that resonate with our existing customers and help to attract new customers.

Our sales and operating results depend in part on our ability to predict and respond to changes in fashion trends and customer preferences in a timely manner by consistently offering stylish, quality merchandise assortments at competitive prices. We continuously assess emerging styles and trends and focus on developing a merchandise assortment to meet customer preferences. There is no assurance that these efforts will be successful or that we will be able to satisfy constantly changing customer demands. To the extent our decisions regarding our merchandise differ from our customers’ preferences, we may be faced with reduced sales and excess inventories for some products and/or missed opportunities for others. Any sustained failure to identify and respond to emerging trends in lifestyle and customer preferences and buying trends could have an adverse impact on our business. In addition, merchandise misjudgments may adversely impact the perception or reputation of our Company, which could result in declines in customer loyalty and vendor relationship issues, and ultimately have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We may also seek to expand into new lines of business from time to time, such as offering large appliances for sale and offering home installation services through third-party installers. There is no assurance that these efforts will be successful. Further, if we devote time and resources to new lines of business and those businesses are not as successful as we planned, then we risk damaging our overall business results. We also may not be able to develop new lines of business in a manner that improves our overall business and operating results and may therefore be forced to close the new lines of business, which may damage our reputation and negatively impact our operating results.

Our results may be negatively impacted if customers do not maintain their favorable perception of our Company and our private brand merchandise.

Maintaining and continually enhancing the value of our Company and our private brand merchandise is important to the success of our business. The value of our private brands is based in large part on the degree to which customers perceive and react to them.  The value of our private brands could diminish significantly due to a number of factors, including customer perception that we have acted in an irresponsible manner in sourcing our private brand merchandise, adverse publicity about our private brand merchandise, our failure to maintain the quality of our private brand products, or the failure of our private brand merchandise to deliver consistently good value to the customer.  The growing use of social and digital media by customers, us, and third parties increases the speed and extent that information or misinformation and opinions can be shared. Negative posts or comments about us, our private brands, or any of our merchandise on social or digital media could seriously damage our reputation. If we do not maintain the favorable perception of our Company and our private brand merchandise, our business results could be negatively impacted.

Our ability to increase sales and store productivity is largely dependent upon our ability to increase customer traffic and conversion.

Customer traffic depends upon our ability to successfully market compelling merchandise assortments, present an appealing shopping environment and experience to customers, and attract customers to our stores through omnichannel initiatives such as pickup-in-store programs. Our strategies focus on increasing customer traffic and improving conversion in our stores and online; however, there can be no assurance that our efforts will be successful or will result in increased sales. Further, costs to drive online traffic may be higher than anticipated and actions to drive online traffic may not deliver anticipated results. In addition, external events outside of our control, including store closings by our competitors, pandemics, terrorist threats, domestic conflicts and civil unrest, may influence customers' decisions to visit malls or might otherwise cause customers to avoid public places. There is no assurance that we will be able to reverse any decline in traffic or that increases in Internet sales will offset any decline in store traffic. We may need to respond to any declines in customer traffic or conversion rates by increasing markdowns or promotions to attract customers, which could adversely impact our gross margins, operating results and cash flows from operating activities. In addition, the challenge of declining store traffic along with the growth of digital shopping channels and its diversion of sales from brick-and-mortar stores could lead to store closures and/or asset impairment charges, which could adversely impact our operating results, financial position and cash flows.

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If we are unable to manage our inventory effectively, our gross margins could be adversely affected.

Our profitability depends upon our ability to manage appropriate inventory levels and respond quickly to shifts in consumer demand patterns. We must properly execute our inventory management strategies by appropriately allocating merchandise among our stores and online, timely and efficiently distributing inventory to stores, maintaining an appropriate mix and level of inventory in stores and online, adjusting our merchandise mix between our private and exclusive brands and national brands, appropriately changing the allocation of floor space of stores among product categories to respond to customer demand and effectively managing pricing and markdowns. If we overestimate customer demand for our merchandise, we will likely need to record inventory markdowns and sell the excess inventory at clearance prices which would negatively impact our gross margins and operating results. If we underestimate customer demand for our merchandise, we may experience inventory shortages which may result in missed sales opportunities and have a negative impact on customer loyalty.

We must protect against security breaches or other unauthorized disclosures of confidential data about our customers as well as about our employees and other third parties.

As part of our normal operations, we and third-party service providers with whom we contract receive and maintain information about our customers (including credit/debit card information), our employees and other third parties. Confidential data must at all times be protected against security breaches or other unauthorized disclosure. We have, and require our third-party service providers to have, administrative, physical and technical safeguards and procedures in place to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of such information and to protect such information against unauthorized access, disclosure or acquisition. Despite our safeguards and security processes and procedures, there is no assurance that all of our systems and processes, or those of our third-party service providers, are free from vulnerability to security breaches or inadvertent data disclosure or acquisition by third parties or us. Further, because the methods used to obtain unauthorized access change frequently and may not be immediately detected, we may be unable to anticipate these methods or promptly implement safeguards. Any failure to protect confidential data about our business or our customers, employees or other third parties could materially damage our brand and reputation as well as result in significant expenses and disruptions to our operations, and loss of customer confidence, any of which could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations. We could also be subject to government enforcement actions and private litigation as a result of any such failure.

The failure to retain, attract and motivate our employees, including employees in key positions, could have an adverse impact on our results of operations.

Our results depend on the contributions of our employees, including our senior management team and other key employees. This depends to a great extent on our ability to retain, attract and motivate talented employees throughout the organization, many of whom, particularly in the stores, are in entry level or part-time positions, which have historically had high rates of turnover. We currently operate with significantly fewer individuals than we have in the past who have assumed additional duties and responsibilities, which could have an adverse impact on our operating performance and efficiency. Negative media reports regarding the Company or the retail industry in general could also have an adverse impact on our ability to attract, retain and motivate our employees. If we are unable to retain, attract and motivate talented employees with the appropriate skill sets, we may not achieve our objectives and our results of operations could be adversely impacted. Our ability to meet our changing labor needs while controlling our costs is also subject to external factors such as unemployment levels, competing wages, potential union organizing efforts and government regulation. An inability to provide wages and/or benefits that are competitive within the markets in which we operate could adversely affect our ability to retain and attract employees. In addition, the loss of one or more of our key personnel or the inability to effectively identify a suitable successor to a key role in our senior management could have a material adverse effect on our business.

If we are unable to successfully develop and maintain a relevant and reliable omnichannel experience for our customers, our sales, results of operations and reputation could be adversely affected.

One of the pillars of our strategic framework is to deliver a superior omnichannel shopping experience for our customers through the integration of our store and digital shopping channels. Omnichannel retailing is rapidly evolving and we must anticipate and meet changing customer expectations. Our omnichannel initiatives include our ship-from-store and pickup-in-store programs and expansion of our SKU count online. In addition, we continue to explore ways to enhance our customers’ omnichannel shopping experience. These initiatives involve significant investments in IT systems and significant operational changes. In addition, our competitors are also investing in omnichannel initiatives, some of which may be more successful than our initiatives. For example, online and other competitors have placed an emphasis on delivery services, with customers increasingly seeking faster, guaranteed delivery times and low-price or free shipping. There is no assurance that we will be able to maintain an ability to be competitive on delivery times and delivery costs, which is dependent on many factors. If the

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implementation of our omnichannel initiatives is not successful or does not meet customer expectations, or we do not realize a return on our omnichannel investments, our reputation and operating results may be adversely affected.

Disruptions in our Internet website or mobile applications, or our inability to successfully execute our online strategies, could have an adverse impact on our sales and results of operations.

We sell merchandise over the Internet through our website, www.jcpenney.com, and through mobile applications for smart phones and tablets. Our Internet operations are subject to numerous risks, including rapid technological change and the implementation of new systems and platforms; liability for online and mobile content; violations of state or federal laws, including those relating to online and mobile privacy and intellectual property rights; credit card fraud; problems associated with the operation, security and availability of our website, mobile applications and related support systems; computer viruses; telecommunications failures; electronic break-ins and similar disruptions; and the allocation of inventory between our online operations and department stores. The failure of our website or mobile applications to perform as expected could result in disruptions and costs to our operations and make it more difficult for customers to purchase merchandise online. In addition, our inability to successfully develop and maintain the necessary technological interfaces for our customers to purchase merchandise through our website and mobile applications, including user friendly software applications for smart phones and tablets, could result in the loss of Internet sales and have an adverse impact on our results of operations.

Our operations are dependent on information technology systems; disruptions in those systems or increased costs relating to their implementation could have an adverse impact on our results of operations.

Our operations are dependent upon the integrity, security and consistent operation of various systems and data centers, including the point-of-sale systems in the stores, our Internet website and mobile applications, data centers that process transactions, communication systems and various software applications used throughout our Company to track inventory flow, process transactions, generate performance and financial reports and administer payroll and benefit plans.

We have implemented several products from third party vendors to simplify our processes and reduce our use of customized existing legacy systems and expect to place additional applications into operation in the future. Implementing new systems carries substantial risk, including implementation delays, cost overruns, disruption of operations, potential loss of data or information, lower customer satisfaction resulting in lost customers or sales, inability to deliver merchandise to our stores or our customers, the potential inability to meet reporting requirements and unintentional security vulnerabilities. There can be no assurances that we will successfully launch the new systems as planned, that the new systems will perform as expected or that the new systems will be implemented without disruptions to our operations, any of which may cause critical information upon which we rely to be delayed, unreliable, corrupted, insufficient or inaccessible.

We also outsource various information technology functions to third party service providers and may outsource other functions in the future. We rely on those third party service providers to provide services on a timely and effective basis and their failure to perform as expected or as required by contract could result in disruptions and costs to our operations.

Our vendors are also highly dependent on the use of information technology systems. Major disruptions in their information technology systems could result in their inability to communicate with us or otherwise to process our transactions or information, their inability to perform required functions, or in the loss or corruption of our information, any and all of which could result in disruptions to our operations. Our vendors are responsible for having safeguards and procedures in place to protect the confidentiality, integrity and security of our information, and to protect our information and systems against unauthorized access, disclosure or acquisition. Any failure in their systems to operate or in their ability to protect our information or systems could have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

We are in the process of insourcing certain business functions from third party vendors and may seek to relocate certain business functions to international locations in an attempt to achieve additional efficiencies, both of which subject us to risks, including disruptions in our business.

We are in the process of insourcing certain business functions and may also need to continue to insource other aspects of our business in the future in order to effectively manage our costs and stay competitive. We may also seek from time to time to relocate certain business functions to countries other than the United States to access highly skilled labor markets and further control costs. There is no assurance that these efforts will be successful. In addition, future regulatory developments could hinder our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of these actions. These actions may also cause disruptions that negatively impact our business. If we are ultimately unable to perform insourced functions better than, or at least as well as, our current

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third party providers, or otherwise realize the anticipated benefits of these actions, our operating results could be adversely impacted.

Changes in our credit ratings may limit our access to capital markets and adversely affect our liquidity.

The credit rating agencies periodically review our capital structure and the quality and stability of our earnings. Any downgrades to our long-term credit ratings could result in reduced access to the credit and capital markets and higher interest costs on future financings. The future availability of financing will depend on a variety of factors such as economic and market conditions, the availability of credit and our credit ratings, as well as the possibility that lenders could develop a negative perception of us. There is no assurance that we will be able to obtain additional financing on favorable terms or at all.

Our profitability depends on our ability to source merchandise and deliver it to our customers in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Our merchandise is sourced from a wide variety of suppliers, and our business depends on being able to find qualified suppliers and access products in a timely and efficient manner. Inflationary pressures on commodity prices and other input costs could increase our cost of goods, and an inability to pass such cost increases on to our customers or a change in our merchandise mix as a result of such cost increases could have an adverse impact on our profitability. Additionally, the impact of economic conditions on our suppliers cannot be predicted and our suppliers may be unable to access financing or become insolvent and thus become unable to supply us with products. Developments in tax policy, such as the disallowance of tax deductions for imported merchandise, or the imposition of tariffs on imported merchandise, could further have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and liquidity.

Our arrangements with our suppliers and vendors may be impacted by our financial results or financial position.

Substantially all of our merchandise suppliers and vendors sell to us on open account purchase terms. There is a risk that our key suppliers and vendors could respond to any actual or apparent decrease in or any concern with our financial results or liquidity by requiring or conditioning their sale of merchandise to us on more stringent or more costly payment terms, such as by requiring standby letters of credit, earlier or advance payment of invoices, payment upon delivery or other assurances or credit support or by choosing not to sell merchandise to us on a timely basis or at all. Our arrangements with our suppliers and vendors may also be impacted by media reports regarding our financial position. Our need for additional liquidity could significantly increase and our supply of merchandise could be materially disrupted if a significant portion of our key suppliers and vendors took one or more of the actions described above, which could have a material adverse effect on our sales, customer satisfaction, cash flows, liquidity and financial position.

Our senior secured real estate term loan credit facility is secured by certain of our real property and substantially all of our personal property, and such property may be subject to foreclosure or other remedies in the event of our default. In addition, the real estate term loan credit facility contains provisions that could restrict our operations and our ability to obtain additional financing.

We are (i) party to a $1.688 billion senior secured term loan credit facility and (ii) the issuer of $500 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes that are secured by mortgages on certain real property of the Company, in addition to liens on substantially all personal property of the Company, subject to certain exclusions set forth in the security documents relating to the term loan credit facility and the senior secured notes. The real property subject to mortgages under the term loan credit facility and the indenture governing the senior secured notes includes our distribution centers and certain of our stores.

The credit and guaranty agreement governing the term loan credit facility and the indenture governing the senior secured notes contain operating restrictions which may impact our future alternatives by limiting, without lender consent, our ability to borrow additional funds, execute certain equity financings or enter into dispositions or other liquidity enhancing or strategic transactions regarding certain of our assets, including our real property. Our ability to obtain additional or other financing or to dispose of certain assets could also be negatively impacted because a substantial portion of our owned assets have been pledged as collateral for repayment of our indebtedness under the term loan credit facility and the senior secured notes.

If an event of default occurs and is continuing, our outstanding obligations under the term loan credit facility and the senior secured notes could be declared immediately due and payable or the lenders could foreclose on or exercise other remedies with respect to the assets securing the term loan credit facility and the senior secured notes, including our distribution centers and certain of our stores. If an event of default occurs, there is no assurance that we would have the cash resources available to repay such accelerated obligations or refinance such indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms, or at all. The occurrence

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of any one of these events could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.

Our senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility limits our borrowing capacity to the value of certain of our assets. In addition, our senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility is secured by certain of our personal property, and lenders may exercise remedies against the collateral in the event of our default.

We are party to a $2.35 billion senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility. Our borrowing capacity under our revolving credit facility varies according to the Company’s inventory levels, accounts receivable and credit card receivables, net of certain reserves. In the event of any material decrease in the amount of or appraised value of these assets, our borrowing capacity would similarly decrease, which could adversely impact our business and liquidity.

Our revolving credit facility contains customary affirmative and negative covenants and certain restrictions on operations become applicable if our availability falls below certain thresholds. These covenants could impose significant operating and financial limitations and restrictions on us, including restrictions on our ability to enter into particular transactions and to engage in other actions that we may believe are advisable or necessary for our business.

Our obligations under the revolving credit facility are secured by liens with respect to inventory, accounts receivable, deposit accounts and certain related collateral. In the event of a default that is not cured or waived within any applicable cure periods, the lenders’ commitment to extend further credit under our revolving credit facility could be terminated, our outstanding obligations could become immediately due and payable, outstanding letters of credit may be required to be cash collateralized and remedies may be exercised against the collateral, which generally consists of the Company’s inventory, accounts receivable and deposit accounts and cash credited thereto. If we are unable to borrow under our revolving credit facility, we may not have the necessary cash resources for our operations and, if any event of default occurs, there is no assurance that we would have the cash resources available to repay such accelerated obligations, refinance such indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms, or at all, or cash collateralize our letters of credit, which would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and liquidity.

Our level of indebtedness may adversely affect our business and results of operations and may require the use of our available cash resources to meet repayment obligations, which could reduce the cash available for other purposes.

As of January 28, 2017, we have $4.836 billion in total indebtedness and we are highly leveraged. Our level of indebtedness may limit our ability to obtain additional financing, if needed, to fund additional projects, working capital requirements, capital expenditures, debt service, and other general corporate or other obligations, as well as increase the risks to our business associated with general adverse economic and industry conditions. Our level of indebtedness may also place us at a competitive disadvantage to our competitors that are not as highly leveraged. In addition, developments in tax policy, such as the disallowance of tax deductions for interest paid on outstanding indebtedness, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and liquidity.

We are required to make quarterly repayments in a principal amount equal to $10.55 million during the seven-year term of the real estate term loan credit facility, subject to certain reductions for mandatory and optional prepayments. In addition, we are required to make prepayments of the real estate term loan credit facility with the proceeds of certain asset sales, insurance proceeds and excess cash flow, which could reduce the cash available for other purposes, including capital expenditures for store improvements, and could impact our ability to reinvest in other areas of our business.

There is no assurance that our internal and external sources of liquidity will at all times be sufficient for our cash requirements.

We must have sufficient sources of liquidity to fund our working capital requirements, capital improvement plans, service our outstanding indebtedness and finance investment opportunities. The principal sources of our liquidity are funds generated from operating activities, available cash and cash equivalents, borrowings under our credit facilities, other debt financings, equity financings and sales of non-operating assets. We expect our ability to generate cash through the sale of non-operating assets to diminish as our portfolio of non-operating assets decreases. In addition, our recent operating losses have limited our capital resources. Our ability to achieve our business and cash flow plans is based on a number of assumptions which involve significant judgments and estimates of future performance, borrowing capacity and credit availability, which cannot at all times be assured. Accordingly, there is no assurance that cash flows from operations and other internal and external sources of liquidity will at all times be sufficient for our cash requirements. If necessary, we may need to consider actions and steps to improve our cash position and mitigate any potential liquidity shortfall, such as modifying our business plan, pursuing

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additional financing to the extent available, reducing capital expenditures, pursuing and evaluating other alternatives and opportunities to obtain additional sources of liquidity and other potential actions to reduce costs. There can be no assurance that any of these actions would be successful, sufficient or available on favorable terms. Any inability to generate or obtain sufficient levels of liquidity to meet our cash requirements at the level and times needed could have a material adverse impact on our business and financial position.

Our ability to obtain any additional financing or any refinancing of our debt, if needed at any time, depends upon many factors, including our existing level of indebtedness and restrictions in our debt facilities, historical business performance, financial projections, prospects and creditworthiness and external economic conditions and general liquidity in the credit and capital markets. Any additional debt, equity or equity-linked financing may require modification of our existing debt agreements, which there is no assurance would be obtainable. Any additional financing or refinancing could also be extended only at higher costs and require us to satisfy more restrictive covenants, which could further limit or restrict our business and results of operations, or be dilutive to our stockholders.

Our use of interest rate hedging transactions could expose us to risks and financial losses that may adversely affect our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations.

To reduce our exposure to interest rate fluctuations, we have entered into, and in the future may enter into, interest rate swaps with various financial counterparties. The interest rate swap agreements effectively convert a portion of our variable rate interest payments to a fixed price. There can be no assurances, however, that our hedging activity will be effective in insulating us from the risks associated with changes in interest rates. In addition, our hedging transactions may expose us to certain risks and financial losses, including, among other things:

counterparty credit risk;

the risk that the duration or amount of the hedge may not match the duration or amount of the related liability;

the hedging transactions may be adjusted from time to time in accordance with accounting rules to reflect changes in fair values, downward adjustments or “mark-to-market losses,” which would affect our stockholders’ equity; and

the risk that we may not be able to meet the terms and conditions of the hedging instruments, in which case we may be required to settle the instruments prior to maturity with cash payments that could significantly affect our liquidity.

Further, we have designated the swaps as cash flow hedges in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging. However, in the future, we may fail to qualify for hedge accounting treatment under these standards for a number of reasons, including if we fail to satisfy hedge documentation and hedge effectiveness assessment requirements or if the swaps are not highly effective. If we fail to qualify for hedge accounting treatment, losses on the swaps caused by the change in their fair value will be recognized as part of net income, rather than being recognized as part of other comprehensive income.

Operating results and cash flows may cause us to incur asset impairment charges.

Long-lived assets, primarily property and equipment, are reviewed at the store level at least annually for impairment, or whenever changes in circumstances indicate that a full recovery of net asset values through future cash flows is in question.  We also assess the recoverability of indefinite-lived intangible assets at least annually or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be fully recoverable. Our impairment review requires us to make estimates and projections regarding, but not limited to, sales, operating profit and future cash flows.  If our operating performance reflects a sustained decline, we may be exposed to significant asset impairment charges in future periods, which could be material to our results of operations.

Reductions in income and cash flow from our marketing and servicing arrangement related to our private label and co-branded credit cards could adversely affect our operating results and cash flows.

Synchrony Financial (“Synchrony”) owns and services our private label credit card and co-branded MasterCard® programs. Our agreement with Synchrony provides for certain payments to be made by Synchrony to the Company, including a share of revenues from the performance of the credit card portfolios. The income and cash flow that the Company receives from Synchrony is dependent upon a number of factors including the level of sales on private label and co-branded accounts, the percentage of sales on private label and co-branded accounts relative to the Company’s total sales, the level of balances carried

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on the accounts, payment rates on the accounts, finance charge rates and other fees on the accounts, the level of credit losses for the accounts, Synchrony’s ability to extend credit to our customers as well as the cost of customer rewards programs. All of these factors can vary based on changes in federal and state credit card, banking and consumer protection laws, which could also materially limit the availability of credit to consumers or increase the cost of credit to our cardholders. The factors affecting the income and cash flow that the Company receives from Synchrony can also vary based on a variety of economic, legal, social and other factors that we cannot control. If the income or cash flow that the Company receives from our consumer credit card program agreement with Synchrony decreases, our operating results and cash flows could be adversely affected.

We are subject to risks associated with importing merchandise from foreign countries.

A substantial portion of our merchandise is sourced by our vendors and by us outside of the United States. All of our vendors must comply with our supplier legal compliance program and applicable laws, including consumer and product safety laws. Although we diversify our sourcing and production by country and supplier, the failure of a supplier to produce and deliver our goods on time, to meet our quality standards and adhere to our product safety requirements or to meet the requirements of our supplier compliance program or applicable laws, or our inability to flow merchandise to our stores or through the Internet channel in the right quantities at the right time, could adversely affect our profitability and could result in damage to our reputation.

Although we have implemented policies and procedures designed to facilitate compliance with laws and regulations relating to doing business in foreign markets and importing merchandise from abroad, there can be no assurance that suppliers and other third parties with whom we do business will not violate such laws and regulations or our policies, which could subject us to liability and could adversely affect our results of operations.

We are subject to the various risks of importing merchandise from abroad and purchasing product made in foreign countries, such as:

potential disruptions in manufacturing, logistics and supply;

changes in duties, tariffs, quotas and voluntary export restrictions on imported merchandise;

strikes and other events affecting delivery;

consumer perceptions of the safety of imported merchandise;

product compliance with laws and regulations of the destination country;

product liability claims from customers or penalties from government agencies relating to products that are recalled, defective or otherwise noncompliant or alleged to be harmful;

concerns about human rights, working conditions and other labor rights and conditions and environmental impact in foreign countries where merchandise is produced and raw materials or components are sourced, and changing labor, environmental and other laws in these countries;

local business practice and political issues that may result in adverse publicity or threatened or actual adverse consumer actions, including boycotts;

compliance with laws and regulations concerning ethical business practices, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; and

economic, political or other problems in countries from or through which merchandise is imported.

Political or financial instability, trade restrictions, tariffs, currency exchange rates, labor conditions, congestion and labor issues at major ports, transport capacity and costs, systems issues, problems in third party distribution and warehousing and other interruptions of the supply chain, compliance with U.S. and foreign laws and regulations and other factors relating to international trade and imported merchandise beyond our control could affect the availability and the price of our inventory. These risks and other factors relating to foreign trade could subject us to liability or hinder our ability to access suitable merchandise on acceptable terms, which could adversely impact our results of operations. In addition, developments in

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tax policy, such as the disallowance of tax deductions for imported merchandise, or the imposition of tariffs on imported merchandise, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and liquidity.

Disruptions and congestion at ports through which we import merchandise may increase our costs and/or delay the receipt of goods in our stores, which could adversely impact our profitability, financial position and cash flows.

We ship the majority of our private brand merchandise by ocean to ports in the United States. Our national brand suppliers also
ship merchandise by ocean. Disruptions in the operations of ports through which we import our merchandise, including but not
limited to labor disputes involving work slowdowns, lockouts or strikes, could require us and/or our vendors to ship merchandise by air freight or to alternative ports in the United States. Shipping by air is significantly more expensive than shipping by ocean which could adversely affect our profitability. Similarly, shipping to alternative ports in the United States could result in increased lead times and transportation costs. Disruptions at ports through which we import our goods could also result in unanticipated inventory shortages, which could adversely impact our reputation and our results of operations.

Our Company’s growth and profitability depend on the levels of consumer confidence and spending.

Our results of operations are sensitive to changes in overall economic and political conditions that impact consumer spending, including discretionary spending. Many economic factors outside of our control, including the housing market, interest rates, recession, inflation and deflation, energy costs and availability, consumer credit availability and terms, consumer debt levels, tax rates and policy, and unemployment trends influence consumer confidence and spending. The domestic and international political situation and actions also affect consumer confidence and spending. Additional events that could impact our performance include pandemics, terrorist threats and activities, worldwide military and domestic disturbances and conflicts, political instability and civil unrest. Declines in the level of consumer spending could adversely affect our growth and profitability.

Our business is seasonal, which impacts our results of operations.

Our annual earnings and cash flows depend to a great extent on the results of operations for the last quarter of our fiscal year, which includes the holiday season. Our fiscal fourth-quarter results may fluctuate significantly, based on many factors, including holiday spending patterns and weather conditions. This seasonality causes our operating results to vary considerably from quarter to quarter.

Our profitability may be impacted by weather conditions.

Our merchandise assortments reflect assumptions regarding expected weather patterns and our profitability depends on our ability to timely deliver seasonally appropriate inventory. Unseasonable or unexpected weather conditions such as warm temperatures during the winter season or prolonged or extreme periods of warm or cold temperatures could render a portion of our inventory incompatible with consumer needs. Extreme weather or natural disasters could also severely hinder our ability to timely deliver seasonally appropriate merchandise, preclude customers from traveling to our stores, delay capital improvements or cause us to close stores. A reduction in the demand for or supply of our seasonal merchandise could have an adverse effect on our inventory levels, gross margins and results of operations.

Changes in federal, state or local laws and regulations could increase our expenses and adversely affect our results of operations.

Our business is subject to a wide array of laws and regulations. Government intervention and activism and/or regulatory reform may result in substantial new regulations and disclosure obligations and/or changes in the interpretation of existing laws and regulations, which may lead to additional compliance costs as well as the diversion of our management’s time and attention from strategic initiatives. If we fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations we could be subject to legal risk, including government enforcement action and class action civil litigation that could disrupt our operations and increase our costs of doing business. Changes in the regulatory environment regarding topics such as privacy and information security, tax policy, product safety, environmental protection, including regulations in response to concerns regarding climate change, collective bargaining activities, minimum wage, wage and hour, and health care mandates, among others, as well as changes to applicable accounting rules and regulations, such as changes to lease accounting standards, could also cause our compliance costs to increase and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.




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Legal and regulatory proceedings could have an adverse impact on our results of operations.

Our Company is subject to various legal and regulatory proceedings relating to our business, certain of which may involve jurisdictions with reputations for aggressive application of laws and procedures against corporate defendants. We are impacted by trends in litigation, including class action litigation brought under various consumer protection, employment, and privacy and information security laws. In addition, litigation risks related to claims that technologies we use infringe intellectual property rights of third parties have been amplified by the increase in third parties whose primary business is to assert such claims. Reserves are established based on our best estimates of our potential liability. However, we cannot accurately predict the ultimate outcome of any such proceedings due to the inherent uncertainties of litigation. Regardless of the outcome or whether the claims are meritorious, legal and regulatory proceedings may require that we devote substantial time and expense to defend our Company. Unfavorable rulings could result in a material adverse impact on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Significant changes in discount rates, actual investment return on pension assets, and other factors could affect our earnings, equity, and pension contributions in future periods.

Our earnings may be positively or negatively impacted by the amount of income or expense recorded for our qualified pension plan. Generally accepted accounting principles in the United States of America (GAAP) require that income or expense for the plan be calculated at the annual measurement date using actuarial assumptions and calculations. The most significant assumptions relate to the capital markets, interest rates and other economic conditions. Changes in key economic indicators can change the assumptions. Two critical assumptions used to estimate pension income or expense for the year are the expected long-term rate of return on plan assets and the discount rate. In addition, at the measurement date, we must also reflect the funded status of the plan (assets and liabilities) on the balance sheet, which may result in a significant change to equity through a reduction or increase to other comprehensive income. We may also experience volatility in the amount of the annual actuarial gains or losses recognized as income or expense because we have elected to recognize pension expense using mark-to-market accounting. Although GAAP expense and pension contributions are not directly related, the key economic factors that affect GAAP expense would also likely affect the amount of cash we could be required to contribute to the pension plan. Potential pension contributions include both mandatory amounts required under federal law and discretionary contributions to improve a plan’s funded status.

Our stock price has been and may continue to be volatile.

The market price of our common stock has fluctuated substantially and may continue to fluctuate significantly. Future announcements or disclosures concerning us or any of our competitors, our strategic initiatives, our sales and profitability, our financial condition, any quarterly variations in actual or anticipated operating results or comparable sales, any failure to meet analysts’ expectations and sales of large blocks of our common stock, among other factors, could cause the market price of our common stock to fluctuate substantially. In addition, the stock market has experienced price and volume fluctuations that have affected the market price of many retail and other stocks that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of these companies. This volatility could affect the price at which you could sell shares of our common stock.

Securities class action litigation has often been instituted against companies following periods of volatility in the overall market and in the market price of a company’s securities. The Company and certain of our former members of the Board of Directors and executives are defendants in a consolidated class action lawsuit and two related stockholder derivative actions that were filed following our announcement of an issuance of common stock on September 26, 2013. Such litigation could result in substantial costs, divert our management’s attention and resources and have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The Company’s ability to use net operating loss carryforwards to offset future taxable income for U.S. federal income tax purposes may be limited.

The Company has a federal net operating loss (NOL) of $2.2 billion as of January 28, 2017. These NOL carryforwards (expiring in 2032 through 2034) are available to offset future taxable income. The Company may recognize additional NOLs in the future.

Section 382 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code), imposes an annual limitation on the amount of taxable income that may be offset by a corporation's NOLs if the corporation experiences an “ownership change” as defined in Section 382 of the Code. An ownership change occurs when the Company’s “five-percent shareholders” (as defined in Section 382 of the Code) collectively increase their ownership in the Company by more than 50 percentage points (by value)

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over a rolling three-year period. Additionally, various states have similar limitations on the use of state NOLs following an ownership change.

If an ownership change occurs, the amount of the taxable income for any post-change year that may be offset by a pre-change loss is subject to an annual limitation that is cumulative to the extent it is not all utilized in a year. This limitation is derived by multiplying the fair market value of the Company stock as of the ownership change by the applicable federal long-term tax-exempt rate, which was 2.04% at January 28, 2017. To the extent that a company has a net unrealized built-in gain at the time of an ownership change, which is realized or deemed recognized during the five-year period following the ownership change, there is an increase in the annual limitation for each of the first five-years that is cumulative to the extent it is not all utilized in a year.

The Company has an ongoing study of the rolling three-year testing periods. Based upon the elections the Company has made and the information that has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission through January 28, 2017, the Company has not had a Section 382 ownership change through January 28, 2017.

If an ownership change should occur in the future, the Company’s ability to use the NOL to offset future taxable income will be subject to an annual limitation and will depend on the amount of taxable income generated by the Company in future periods. There is no assurance that the Company will be able to fully utilize the NOL and the Company could be required to record an additional valuation allowance related to the amount of the NOL that may not be realized, which could impact the Company’s result of operations.

We believe that these NOL carryforwards are a valuable asset for us.  Consequently, we have a stockholder rights plan in place, which was approved by the Company’s stockholders, to protect our NOLs during the effective period of the rights plan.  On January 23, 2017, we extended the term of the rights plan for an additional three years. We expect to submit the extension of the rights plan to a vote at our annual meeting of stockholders in May 2017. If stockholders do not approve the extension of the rights plan, the rights plan will terminate. Although the rights plan is intended to reduce the likelihood of an “ownership change” that could adversely affect us, there is no assurance that the restrictions on transferability in the rights plan will prevent all transfers that could result in such an “ownership change”.
 
The rights plan could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire, or could discourage a third party from acquiring, our Company or a large block of our common stock.  A third party that acquires 4.9% or more of our common stock could suffer substantial dilution of its ownership interest under the terms of the rights plan through the issuance of common stock or common stock equivalents to all stockholders other than the acquiring person.

The foregoing provisions may adversely affect the marketability of our common stock by discouraging potential investors from acquiring our stock.  In addition, these provisions could delay or frustrate the removal of incumbent directors and could make more difficult a merger, tender offer or proxy contest involving us, or impede an attempt to acquire a significant or controlling interest in us, even if such events might be beneficial to us and our stockholders. 
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 
 
None. 

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Item 2. Properties
 
At January 28, 2017, we operated 1,013 department stores throughout the continental United States, Alaska and Puerto Rico, of which 417 were owned, including 119 stores located on ground leases. The following table lists the number of stores operating by state as of January 28, 2017:
Alabama
 
19
 
Maine
 
6
 
Oklahoma
 
19
Alaska
 
1
 
Maryland
 
17
 
Oregon
 
13
Arizona
 
22
 
Massachusetts
 
10
 
Pennsylvania
 
34
Arkansas
 
16
 
Michigan
 
41
 
Rhode Island
 
2
California
 
80
 
Minnesota
 
25
 
South Carolina
 
16
Colorado
 
21
 
Mississippi
 
15
 
South Dakota
 
7
Connecticut
 
8
 
Missouri
 
26
 
Tennessee
 
24
Delaware
 
3
 
Montana
 
7
 
Texas
 
91
Florida
 
55
 
Nebraska
 
11
 
Utah
 
8
Georgia
 
27
 
Nevada
 
7
 
Vermont
 
4
Idaho
 
9
 
New Hampshire
 
9
 
Virginia
 
24
Illinois
 
37
 
New Jersey
 
14
 
Washington
 
22
Indiana
 
27
 
New Mexico
 
10
 
West Virginia
 
9
Iowa
 
15
 
New York
 
41
 
Wisconsin
 
14
Kansas
 
19
 
North Carolina
 
29
 
Wyoming
 
4
Kentucky
 
22
 
North Dakota
 
8
 
Puerto Rico
 
7
Louisiana
 
16
 
Ohio
 
42
 
 
 
 
Total square feet
 
103.3 million
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We are party to a $1.688 billion senior secured term loan credit facility and the issuer of $500 million aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes that are secured by mortgages on certain real property of the Company, in addition to liens on substantially all personal property of the Company, subject to certain exclusions set forth in the security documents relating to the term loan credit facility and the senior secured notes. The real property subject to mortgages under the term loan credit facility and the indenture governing the senior secured notes includes our distribution centers and certain of our stores.




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At January 28, 2017, our supply chain network operated 13 facilities with multiple types of distribution activities, including store merchandise distribution centers (stores), regional warehouses (regional), jcpenney.com fulfillment centers (direct to customers) and furniture distribution centers (furniture) as indicated in the following table:
 
  
 
    
 
 
Square Footage
Location
 
Leased/Owned
 
Primary Function(s)
 
(in thousands)
Manchester, Connecticut
  
Owned
    
stores, furniture
 
2,120

Lenexa, Kansas
  
Owned
    
stores, direct to customers
 
1,944

Columbus, Ohio
  
Owned
    
stores, direct to customers
 
1,941

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  
Owned
    
stores, furniture
 
1,921

Atlanta, Georgia
  
Owned
    
stores, regional, direct to customers
 
2,026

Reno, Nevada
  
Owned
    
stores, direct to customers
 
1,660

Buena Park, California
  
Owned
    
stores, regional, furniture
 
1,017

Alliance, Texas
  
Owned
    
regional
 
920

Statesville, North Carolina
  
Owned
    
stores, regional
 
595

Lathrop, California
  
Leased
    
regional
 
436

Cedar Hill, Texas
  
Leased
    
stores
 
420

Spanish Fork, Utah
  
Leased
    
stores
 
400

Lakeland, Florida
 
Leased
 
stores
 
360

Total supply chain network
 
 
 
 
 
15,760


Item 3. Legal Proceedings

The matters under the caption "Litigation" in Note 20 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Form 10-K are incorporated herein by reference.   
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
 
Not applicable.  

19

Table of Contents

PART II 
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity
 
Our common stock is traded principally on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol “JCP.” The number of stockholders of record at March 20, 2017, was 23,320.  In addition to common stock, we have authorized 25 million shares of preferred stock, of which no shares were issued and outstanding at January 28, 2017.
 
The table below sets forth the quoted high and low intraday sale prices of our common stock on the NYSE for each quarterly period indicated and the quarter-end closing market price of our common stock:
Fiscal Year 2016
 
First Quarter
 
Second Quarter
 
Third Quarter
 
Fourth Quarter
Market price:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

High
 
$
11.99

 
$
9.82

 
$
11.30

 
$
10.74

Low
 
$
6.88

 
$
7.10

 
$
8.25

 
$
6.38

Close
 
$
9.28

 
$
9.66

 
$
8.48

 
$
6.45

Fiscal Year 2015
 
First Quarter
 
Second Quarter
 
Third Quarter
 
Fourth Quarter
Market price:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

High
 
$
9.50

 
$
9.39

 
$
10.09

 
$
9.34

Low
 
$
7.01

 
$
8.02

 
$
7.21

 
$
6.00

Close
 
$
8.43

 
$
8.24

 
$
9.17

 
$
7.26

 
Since May 2012, the Company has not paid a dividend. Under our 2016 senior secured term loan credit facility and 2014 senior secured asset-based credit facility, we are subject to restrictive covenants regarding our ability to pay cash dividends.
 
Additional information relating to the common stock and preferred stock is included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K in the Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity and in Note 12 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
Issuer Purchases of Securities
 
No repurchases of common stock were made during the fourth quarter of 2016 and no amounts are authorized for share repurchases as of January 28, 2017.


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Table of Contents

Five-Year Total Stockholder Return Comparison
 
The following presentation compares our cumulative stockholder returns for the past five fiscal years with the returns of the S&P 500 Stock Index and the S&P 500 Retail Index for Department Stores over the same period. A list of these companies follows the graph below. The graph assumes $100 invested at the closing price of our common stock on the NYSE and each index as of the last trading day of our fiscal year 2011 and assumes that all dividends were reinvested on the date paid. The points on the graph represent fiscal year-end amounts based on the last trading day of each fiscal year. The following graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the Securities and Exchange Commission, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any filing under the Securities Act of 1933 or Securities Exchange Act of 1934, each as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference into such filing.


jcp-01282_chartx03054.jpg

S&P Department Stores:
Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom
 
 
 
2011
 
2012
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
2016
JCPenney
 
$100
 
$47
 
$14
 
$18
 
$18
 
$16
S&P 500
 
100
 
117
 
141
 
162
 
160
 
194
S&P Department Stores
 
100
 
102
 
120
 
149
 
108
 
87
 
The stockholder returns shown are neither determinative nor indicative of future performance.

21

Table of Contents

Item 6. Selected Financial Data
 
Five-Year Financial Summary
($ in millions, except per share data)
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013

2012
 
Results for the year
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total net sales
$
12,547

 
$
12,625

 
$
12,257

 
$
11,859

 
$
12,985

 
Sales percent increase/(decrease):
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
Total net sales
(0.6
)%
 
3.0
 %
 
3.4
 %
 
(8.7
)%
(1) 
(24.8
)%
(1) 
Comparable store sales(2)
 %
 
4.5
 %
 
4.4
 %
 
(7.4
)%
 
(25.1
)%
 
Operating income/(loss)
395

 
(89
)
 
(254
)
 
(1,242
)
 
(1,001
)
 
As a percent of sales
3.1
 %
 
(0.7
)%
 
(2.1
)%
 
(10.5
)%
 
(7.7
)%
 
Net income/(loss) from continuing operations
1

 
(513
)
 
(717
)
 
(1,278
)
 
(795
)
 
Net income/(loss) from continuing operations before net interest expense, income tax (benefit)/expense and depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) (non-GAAP)(3)
1,004

 
527

 
377

 
(641
)
 
(458
)
 
Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP)(3)
1,009

 
715

 
292

 
(612
)
 
(373
)
 
Adjusted net income/(loss) from continuing operations (non-GAAP)(3)
24

 
(315
)
 
(766
)
 
(1,407
)
 
(751
)
 
Per common share
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
Earnings/(loss) per share from continuing operations, diluted
$

 
$
(1.68
)
 
$
(2.35
)
 
$
(5.13
)
 
$
(3.63
)
 
Adjusted earnings/(loss) per share from continuing operations, diluted (non-GAAP)(3)
$
0.08

 
$
(1.03
)
 
$
(2.51
)
 
$
(5.64
)
 
$
(3.43
)
 
Dividends declared(4)

 

 

 

 
0.20

 
Financial position and cash flow
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
Total assets
$
9,314

 
$
9,442

 
$
10,309

 
$
11,710

 
$
9,761


Cash and cash equivalents
887

 
900

 
1,318

 
1,515

 
930

 
Total debt (5)
4,836

 
4,805

 
5,321

 
5,510

 
2,962

 
Free cash flow (non-GAAP)(3)
3

 
131

 
57

 
(2,746
)
 
(906
)
 
 
(1)
Includes the effect of the 53rd week in 2012. Excluding sales of $163 million for the 53rd week in 2012, total net sales decreased 7.5% and 25.7% in 2013 and 2012, respectively.
(2)
Comparable store sales are presented on a 52-week basis and include sales from all stores, including sales from services and commissions earned from our in-store licensed departments, that have been open for 12 consecutive full fiscal months and Internet sales. Stores closed for an extended period are not included in comparable store sales calculations, while stores remodeled and minor expansions not requiring store closure remain in the calculations. Certain items, such as sales return estimates and store liquidation sales, are excluded from the Company's calculation. Our definition and calculation of comparable store sales may differ from other companies in the retail industry.
(3)
See Non-GAAP Financial Measures herein for additional information and reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. In 2016, we revised our definitions of Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP), Adjusted net income/(loss) from continuing operations (non-GAAP) and Adjusted earnings/(loss) per share from continuing operations, diluted (non-GAAP) to include the mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans and have revised the prior years' amounts accordingly.
(4)
We discontinued the quarterly $0.20 per share dividend following the May 1, 2012 payment.
(5)
Total debt includes long-term debt, net of unamortized debt issuance costs, including current maturities, capital leases, financing obligation, note payable and any borrowings under our revolving credit facility.











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Table of Contents

Five-Year Operations Summary
 
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
Number of department stores:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beginning of year
 
1,021

 
1,062

 
1,094

 
1,104

 
1,102

 
Openings
 
1

 

 
1

 

 
9

(1) 
Closings
 
(9
)
 
(41
)
 
(33
)
 
(10
)
 
(7
)
(1) 
End of year
 
1,013

 
1,021

 
1,062

 
1,094

 
1,104

 
Gross selling space (square feet in millions)
 
103.3

 
104.7

 
107.9

 
110.6

 
111.6

 
Sales per gross square foot(2)
 
$
121

 
$
120

 
$
113

 
$
107

 
$
116

 
Sales per net selling square foot(2)
 
$
166

 
$
165

 
$
155

 
$
147

 
$
161

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Number of the Foundry Big and Tall Supply Co. stores(3)
 

 

 

 
10

 
10

 
 
(1)
Includes 3 relocations.
(2)
Calculation includes the sales, including commission revenue, and square footage of department stores, including selling space allocated to services and licensed departments, that were open for the full fiscal year, as well as Internet sales.
(3)
All stores opened during 2011 and closed during 2014. Gross selling space was 51 thousand square feet as of the end of 2013 and 2012.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures
 
We report our financial information in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (GAAP). However, we present certain financial measures and ratios identified as non-GAAP under the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to assess our results. We believe the presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures and ratios is useful in order to better understand our financial performance as well as to facilitate the comparison of our results to the results of our peer companies. In addition, management uses these non-GAAP financial measures and ratios to assess the results of our operations. It is important to view non-GAAP financial measures in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, those measures and ratios prepared in accordance with GAAP. We have provided reconciliations of the most directly comparable GAAP measures to our non-GAAP financial measures presented.

The following non-GAAP financial measures are adjusted to exclude the impact of markdowns related to the alignment of inventory with our prior strategy, restructuring and management transition charges, the impact of our qualified defined benefit pension plan (Primary Pension Plan), the mark-to-market (MTM) adjustment for supplemental retirement plans, the loss on extinguishment of debt, the net gain on the sale of non-operating assets, certain net gains, the proportional share of net income from our joint venture formed to develop the excess property adjacent to our home office facility in Plano, Texas (Home Office Land Joint Venture) and the tax impact for the allocation of income taxes to other comprehensive income items related to our Primary Pension Plan and interest rate swaps. Unlike other operating expenses, the impact of the markdowns related to the alignment of inventory with our prior strategy, restructuring and management transition charges, the loss on extinguishment of debt, the net gain on the sale of non-operating assets, certain net gains, the proportional share of net income from the Home Office Land Joint Venture and the tax impact for the allocation of income taxes to other comprehensive income items related to our Primary Pension Plan and interest rate swaps are not directly related to our ongoing core business operations. Primary Pension Plan expense/(income) and the mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans are determined using numerous complex assumptions about changes in pension assets and liabilities that are subject to factors beyond our control, such as market volatility.  Accordingly, we eliminate our Primary Pension Plan expense/(income) in its entirety as we view all components of net periodic benefit expense/(income) as a single, net amount, consistent with its presentation in our Consolidated Financial Statements.  We believe it is useful for investors to understand the impact of markdowns related to the alignment of inventory with our prior strategy, restructuring and management transition charges, Primary Pension Plan expense/(income), the mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans, the loss on extinguishment of debt, the net gain on the sale of non-operating assets, certain net gains, the proportional share of net income from the Home Office Land Joint Venture and the tax impact for the allocation of income taxes to other comprehensive income items related to our Primary Pension Plan and interest rate swaps on our financial results and therefore are presenting the following non-GAAP financial measures: (1) adjusted EBITDA; (2) adjusted net income/(loss); and (3) adjusted earnings/(loss) per share-diluted.

In addition, we believe that EBITDA is a useful measure in assessing our operating performance and are therefore presenting this non-GAAP financial measure in addition to the non-GAAP financial measures listed above.



23

Table of Contents

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA. The following table reconciles net income/(loss), the most directly comparable GAAP measure, to EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA, which are non-GAAP financial measures:
($ in millions)
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
Net income/(loss) from continuing operations
$
1

 
$
(513
)
 
$
(717
)
 
$
(1,278
)
 
$
(795
)
 
Add: Net interest expense
363

 
405

 
406

 
352

 
226

 
Add: Loss on extinguishment of debt
30

 
10

 
34

 
114

 

 
Total interest expense
393

 
415

 
440

 
466

 
226

 
Add: Income tax expense/(benefit)
1

 
9

 
23

 
(430
)
 
(432
)
 
Add: Depreciation and amortization
609

 
616

 
631

 
601

 
543

 
EBITDA (non-GAAP)
1,004

 
527

 
377

 
(641
)
 
(458
)
 
Add: Markdowns - inventory strategy alignment

 

 

 

 
155

 
Add: Restructuring and management transition charges
26

 
84

 
87

 
215

 
298

 
Add: Primary pension plan expense/(income)
1

 
154

(1) 
(18
)
 
(52
)
 
(18
)
 
Add: Mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans (2)
11

 

 
12

 
(2
)
 
47

 
Less: Net gain on the sale of non-operating assets
(5
)
 
(9
)
 
(25
)
 
(132
)
 
(397
)
 
Less: Proportional share of net income from home office land joint venture
(28
)
 
(41
)
 
(53
)
 

 

 
Less: Certain net gains

 

 
(88
)
(3) 

 

 
Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) (2)
$
1,009

 
$
715

 
$
292

 
$
(612
)
 
$
(373
)
 

(1)
Includes $52 million mark-to-market adjustment.
(2)
In 2016, we revised our definitions of Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP), Adjusted net income/(loss) from continuing operations (non-GAAP) and Adjusted earnings/(loss) per share from continuing operations, diluted (non-GAAP) to include the mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans and have revised the prior years' amounts accordingly.
(3)
Represents the net gain on the sale of one department store location and the net gain recognized on a payment received from a landlord to terminate an existing lease prior to its original expiration date.

























24

Table of Contents

Adjusted Net Income/(Loss) and Adjusted Diluted EPS from Continuing Operations. The following table reconciles net income/(loss) and diluted EPS from continuing operations, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures, to adjusted net income/(loss) and adjusted diluted EPS from continuing operations, non-GAAP financial measures:
($ in millions, except per share data)
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
Net income/(loss) (GAAP) from continuing operations
$
1

 
$
(513
)
 
$
(717
)
 
$
(1,278
)
 
$
(795
)
 
Diluted EPS (GAAP) from continuing operations
$

 
$
(1.68
)
 
$
(2.35
)
 
$
(5.13
)
 
$
(3.63
)
 
Add: markdowns - inventory strategy alignment

 

 

 

 
155

 
Add: restructuring and management transition charges
26

 
84

 
87

 
215

 
298


Add/(deduct): primary pension plan expense/(income)
1

 
154

(1) 
(18
)
 
(52
)
 
(18
)
 
Add: Mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans (7)
11

 

 
12

 
(2
)
 
47

 
Add: Loss on extinguishment of debt
30

 
10

 
34

 
114

 

 
Less: Net gain on sale or redemption of non-operating assets
(5
)
 
(9
)
 
(25
)
 
(132
)
 
(397
)
 
Less: Proportional share of net income from home office land joint venture
(28
)
 
(41
)
 
(53
)
 

 

 
Less: Certain net gains

 

 
(88
)
 

 

 
Less: Aggregate tax impact related to the above adjustments

(2) 

(2) 
2

(3) 
(22
)
(4) 
(41
)
(5) 
Less: Tax impact resulting from other comprehensive income allocation
(12
)
(6) 

 

 
(250
)
(6) 

 
Adjusted net income/(loss) (non-GAAP) from continuing operations (7)
$
24

 
$
(315
)
 
$
(766
)
 
$
(1,407
)
 
$
(751
)
 
Adjusted diluted EPS (non-GAAP) from continuing operations (7)
$
0.08

 
$
(1.03
)
 
$
(2.51
)
 
$
(5.64
)
 
$
(3.43
)
 

(1)
Includes $52 million mark-to-market adjustment.
(2)
Reflects no tax effect due to the impact of the Company's tax valuation allowance.
(3)
Tax effect represents state taxes payable in separately filing states related to the sale of assets.
(4)
Tax effect for the three months ended May 4, 2013 was calculated using the Company's statutory rate of 38.82% and includes state taxes payable in separately filing states related to the sale of assets. The last nine months of 2013 reflects no tax effect due to the impact of the Company's tax valuation allowance.
(5)
Tax effect was calculated using the effective tax rate for the transactions.
(6)
Represents the tax benefits related to the allocation of tax expense to other comprehensive income items, including the amortization of actuarial losses and prior service costs related to the Primary Pension Plan and the results of our annual remeasurement of our pension plans.
(7)
In 2016, we revised our definitions of Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP), Adjusted net income/(loss) from continuing operations (non-GAAP) and Adjusted earnings/(loss) per share from continuing operations, diluted (non-GAAP) to include the mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans and have revised the prior years' amounts accordingly.


















25

Table of Contents

Free Cash Flow
Free cash flow is a key financial measure of our ability to generate additional cash from operating our business. We define free cash flow as cash flow from operating activities, less capital expenditures and dividends paid, plus the proceeds from the sale of operating assets. Free cash flow is a relevant indicator of our ability to repay maturing debt, revise our dividend policy or fund other uses of capital that we believe will enhance stockholder value. Free cash flow is considered a non-GAAP financial measure under the rules of the SEC. Free cash flow is limited and does not represent remaining cash flow available for discretionary expenditures due to the fact that the measure does not deduct payments required for debt maturities, payments made for business acquisitions or required pension contributions, if any. Therefore, it is important to view free cash flow in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, our entire statement of cash flows and those measures prepared in accordance with GAAP.

The following table reconciles net cash provided by/(used in) operating activities, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, to free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, as well as information regarding net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities and net cash provided by/(used in) financing activities. 
($ in millions)
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
Net cash provided by/(used in) operating activities (GAAP)
$
334

 
$
440

 
$
239

 
$
(1,814
)
 
$
(10
)
Less:
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Capital expenditures
(427
)
 
(320
)
 
(252
)
 
(951
)
 
(810
)
Dividends paid, common stock

 

 

 

 
(86
)
Plus:
 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Proceeds from sale of operating assets
96

 
11

 
70

 
19

 

Free cash flow (non-GAAP)
$
3

 
$
131

 
$
57

 
$
(2,746
)
 
$
(906
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities(1)
$
(316
)
 
$
(296
)
 
$
(142
)
 
$
(789
)
 
$
(293
)
Net cash provided by/(used in) financing activities
$
(31
)
 
$
(562
)
 
$
(294
)
 
$
3,188

 
$
(274
)
 
(1)
Net cash provided by/(used in) investing activities includes capital expenditures and proceeds from sale of operating assets, which are also included in our computation of free cash flow.


26

Table of Contents

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
 
The following discussion, which presents our results, should be read in conjunction with the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto, along with the Five-Year Financial and Operations Summaries, the risk factors and the cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information. Unless otherwise indicated, all references in this Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) related to earnings/(loss) per share (EPS) are on a diluted basis and all references to years relate to fiscal years rather than to calendar years.

Growth Initiatives

Our revenue growth strategy for 2017 will focus on the following five initiatives:

Beauty;
Home refresh;
Omnichannel;
Pricing strategy; and
Women's apparel business.

First, we will have a continued focus in our beauty categories of Sephora and The Salon by InStyle. In 2016, we opened 60 additional Sephora locations, bringing our total number of locations to 577, and we launched several new brands in our Sephora shops. We plan to add approximately 70 new Sephora locations, expand 32 existing locations and continue to roll out and launch new brands in 2017. With these plans every Sephora location we operate will be enhanced in 2017 either through an expansion or an updated assortment of brands. We also have rebranded our salons to The Salon by InStyle and also recently implemented new functionality to jcpenney.com and our mobile app, allowing customers to book salon services appointments easily and more conveniently. Magnifying the importance of physical stores, we see Sephora and Salon as differentiators to help drive traffic and increase the frequency of visits to our stores.

Second, our home refresh initiative continues to provide strong results. In 2016, we established appliance showrooms in over 500 stores and plan to open new appliance showrooms in approximately 100 stores in early 2017 and add new brand partners to our showrooms throughout the year. Additionally, we are conducting several tests within our Home Store focusing on home installed services including an HVAC install program through our partnership with Trane. We see our home refresh initiative as an opportunity for us to increase our revenue per customer.

Third, we remain committed to becoming a world-class omnichannel retailer. Our online business remains strong, delivering double-digit growth in 2016. We plan to continue to drive increased online revenue in 2017 by increasing our online SKU assortment, continuing to improve site functionality, enhancing ship-from-store capabilities and developing an improved mobile app.

Pricing strategy is our fourth initiative. In 2017 we have restructured the internal pricing process so that all of our pricing and promotional decisions will be made using a more data-driven approach. Once fully implemented, we expect our pricing initiatives to enhance our gross margin performance in 2017 and beyond.

Last, we plan to focus on improving our women's apparel offering. We are enhancing our partnership with Nike to create inspiring brand shops and offering an improved assortment of apparel, accessories and footwear across all divisions. In the women's area we will have Nike in all doors, an increase of over 400 stores from 2016. We are also converting all women's shoe areas to open sale fixtures this year. In addition, we are taking steps in women's apparel to simplify the floor, better balance our career and casual offerings and creating a stronger value statement with pricing. We also plan to expand our use of customer and trend data more effectively to ensure we better understand the desires of the customer in advance of the season.
Finally, we see an opportunity with the plus size community that remains underserved, and we want to become the destination for providing style, value and an appealing shopping environment. Our women's plus boutique shop Boutique+™ continues to resonate with our plus size customers and we plan to enhance this strategy for 2017 by launching swimwear and other exciting accessories.

We believe these growth initiatives will not only serve the needs of our value-oriented customer, they will differentiate us from our traditional competitors.

27

Table of Contents

2016 Overview
 
Sales were $12,547 million, a decrease of 0.6% as compared to 2015, and comparable store sales were flat for the year. 

Gross margin as a percentage of sales was 35.7% compared to 36.0% last year and was negatively impacted by the continued growth of our Internet business and the introduction of major appliance showrooms.

Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses decreased $237 million, or 6.3%, as compared to 2015. These savings were primarily driven by lower incentive compensation, store controllable costs, lower corporate overhead and more efficient advertising spend.

We delivered a $514 million improvement in net income over the prior year to $1 million, or $0.00 per share, our first positive net income since 2010, compared to a net loss of $513 million, or $1.68 per share, in 2015.  Results for 2016 included the following amounts that are not directly related to our ongoing core business operations:

$26 million, or $0.08 per share, of restructuring and management transition charges;
$1 million, for the Primary Pension Plan expense/(income);
$11 million, or $0.04 per share, for the MTM adjustment for supplemental retirement plans;
$30 million, or $0.10 per share, for the loss on extinguishment of debt;
$5 million, or $0.02 per share, for the net gain on the sale of non-operating assets;
$28 million, or $0.09 per share, for our proportional share of net income from our joint venture formed to develop the excess property adjacent to our home office facility in Plano, Texas (Home Office Land Joint Venture); and
$12 million, or $0.04 per share, for the tax impact resulting from other comprehensive income allocation.

EBITDA was $1,004 million for 2016, an improvement of $477 million compared to EBITDA of $527 million in 2015. Adjusted EBITDA was $1,009 million for 2016 compared to adjusted EBITDA of $715 million in 2015.

We completed the refinancing of our $2.25 billion five-year senior secured term loan facility entered into in 2013 (2013 Term Loan Facility) with an amended and restated $1.688 billion seven-year senior secured term loan facility (2016 Term Loan Facility) and the issuance of $500 million of 5.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2023 (Senior Secured Notes), resulting in a loss on extinguishment of debt of $34 million. The 2016 Term Loan Facility has a lower interest rate than the 2013 Term Loan Facility, representing a 75 basis point reduction and an extended maturity from 2018 to 2023.

The Company's Board of Directors (Board) appointed Marvin R. Ellison as Chairman of the Board, effective August 1, 2016, in addition to his position of Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Ellison succeeds Myron E. Ullman, III who retired from the Company on August 1, 2016 in accordance with the transition plan previously outlined by the Company.

We completed our roll out of over 500 new appliance showrooms.

In December 2016, the Company sold excess land surrounding the Company's Home Office for $80 million and recognized a $62 million gain.

Also in December 2016, the Company executed a sale-leaseback transaction for the Home Office that resulted in $216 million of net cash proceeds. As a result of certain terms precluding sale-leaseback accounting, the transaction was accounted for as a financing with the related property remaining on our balance sheet.
    
Standard and Poor's Rating Services upgraded our corporate credit rating in March 2017 to B+ from B and Moody's Investors Service upgraded our corporate credit rating in September 2016 to B1 from B3.

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Results of Operations
 
Three-Year Comparison of Operating Performance
(in millions, except per share data)
2016
 
2015
 
2014
 
Total net sales
$
12,547

 
$
12,625

 
$
12,257

 
Percent increase/(decrease) from prior year
(0.6
)%
 
3.0
 %
 
3.4
 %
 
Comparable store sales increase/(decrease)(1)
 %
 
4.5
 %
 
4.4
 %
 
Gross margin
4,476

 
4,551

 
4,261

 
Operating expenses/(income):
 
 
 
 
 
 
Selling, general and administrative
3,538

 
3,775

 
3,993

 
Pension
19

 
162

 
(48
)
 
Depreciation and amortization
609

 
616

 
631

 
Real estate and other, net
(111
)
 
3

 
(148
)
 
Restructuring and management transition
26

 
84

 
87

 
Total operating expenses
4,081

 
4,640

 
4,515

 
Operating income/(loss)
395

 
(89
)
 
(254
)
 
As a percent of sales
3.1
 %
 
(0.7
)%
 
(2.1
)%
 
Loss on extinguishment of debt
30

 
10

 
34

 
Net interest expense
363

 
405

 
406

 
Income/(loss) before income taxes
2

 
(504
)
 
(694
)
 
Income tax (benefit)/expense
1

 
9

 
23

 
Net income/(loss)
$
1

 
$
(513
)
 
$
(717
)
 
EBITDA(2)
$
1,004

 
$
527

 
$
377

 
Adjusted EBITDA(2)
$
1,009

 
$
715

 
$
292

 
Adjusted net income/(loss) (non-GAAP)(2)
$
24

 
$
(315
)
 
$
(766
)
 
Diluted EPS
$

 
$
(1.68
)
 
$
(2.35
)
 
Adjusted diluted EPS (non-GAAP)(2)
$
0.08

 
$
(1.03
)
 
$
(2.51
)
 
Weighted average shares used for diluted EPS
313.0

 
305.9

 
305.2

 
 
(1)
Comparable store sales are presented on a 52-week basis and include sales from all stores, including sales from services and commissions earned from our in-store licensed departments, that have been open for 12 consecutive full fiscal months and Internet sales. Stores closed for an extended period are not included in comparable store sales calculations, while stores remodeled and minor expansions not requiring store closure remain in the calculations. Certain items, such as sales return estimates and store liquidation sales, are excluded from the Company's calculation. Our definition and calculation of comparable store sales may differ from other companies in the retail industry.
(2)
See Item 6, Selected Financial Data, for a discussion of this non-GAAP financial measure and reconciliation to its most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.
2016 Compared to 2015
 
Total Net Sales
Our year-to-year change in total net sales is comprised of (a) sales from new stores net of closings and relocations, referred to as non-comparable store sales (b) sales of stores opened in both years as well as Internet sales, referred to as comparable store sales and (c) other revenue adjustments such as sales return estimates and store liquidation sales. We consider comparable store sales to be a key indicator of our current performance measuring the growth in sales and sales productivity of existing stores. Positive comparable store sales contribute to greater leveraging of operating costs, particularly payroll and occupancy costs, while negative comparable store sales contribute to de-leveraging of costs. Comparable store sales also have a direct impact on our total net sales and the level of cash flow.

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Table of Contents

 
2016
 
2015
Total net sales (in millions)
$
12,547

 
$
12,625

Sales percent increase/(decrease)
 
 
 
Total net sales
(0.6
)%
 
3.0
%
Comparable store sales(1)
 %
 
4.5
%
Sales per gross square foot(2)
$
121

 
$
120


(1)
Comparable store sales are presented on a 52-week basis and include sales from all stores, including sales from services and commissions earned from our in-store licensed departments, that have been open for 12 consecutive full fiscal months and Internet sales. Stores closed for an extended period are not included in comparable store sales calculations, while stores remodeled and minor expansions not requiring store closure remain in the calculations. Certain items, such as sales return estimates and store liquidation sales, are excluded from the Company's calculation. Our definition and calculation of comparable store sales may differ from other companies in the retail industry.
(2)
Calculation includes the sales, including commission revenue, and square footage of department stores, including selling space allocated to services and licensed departments, that were open for the full fiscal year, as well as Internet sales.
 
Total net sales decreased $78 million in 2016 compared to 2015. The following table provides the components of the net sales decrease
($ in millions)
2016
Comparable store sales increase/(decrease)
$
2

Sales related to new and closed stores, net
(76
)
Other revenues and sales adjustments
(4
)
Total net sales increase/(decrease)
$
(78
)
As our omnichannel strategy continues to mature, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between a store sale and an Internet sale. Because we no longer have a clear distinction between store sales and Internet sales, we do not separately report Internet sales. Below is a list of some of our omnichannel activities:
Stores increase Internet sales by providing customers opportunities to view, touch and/or try on physical merchandise before ordering online.
Our website increases store sales as in-store customers have often pre-shopped online before shopping in the store, including verification of which stores have online merchandise in stock.
Most Internet purchases are easily returned in our stores.
JCPenney Rewards can be earned and redeemed online or in stores.
In-store customers can order from our website with the assistance of associates in our stores or they can shop our website from the JCPenney app while inside the store.
Customers who utilize our mobile application can receive mobile coupons to use when they check out both online or in our stores.
Internet orders can be shipped from a dedicated jcpenney.com fulfillment center, a store, a store merchandise distribution center, a regional warehouse, directly from vendors or any combination of the above.
Certain categories of store inventory can be accessed and purchased by jcpenney.com customers and shipped directly to the customer's home from the store.
Internet orders can be shipped to stores for customer pick up.
"Buy online and pick up in store same day" is now available in all of our stores.

For 2016, conversion, units per transaction and average unit retail increased, while transaction counts decreased as compared to the prior year. On a geographic basis, all regions experienced comparable store sales decreases for 2016 compared to the prior year. During 2016, our Sephora, Home and Footwear and Handbags merchandise divisions experienced sales increases. Sephora, which reflected the addition of 60 Sephora inside JCPenney locations, experienced the highest sales increase.

During 2016, private brand merchandise comprised 44% of total merchandise sales, as compared to 44% and 42% in 2015 and 2014, respectively. During 2016, 2015 and 2014, exclusive brand merchandise comprised 8%, 8% and 11%, respectively, of total merchandise sales.

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Table of Contents

Gross Margin
Gross margin is a measure of profitability of a retail company at the most fundamental level of buying and selling merchandise. Gross margins not only cover marketing, selling and other operating expenses, but also must include a profit element. Gross margin is the difference between total net sales and cost of the merchandise sold and is typically expressed as a percentage of total net sales. The cost of merchandise sold includes all direct costs of bringing merchandise to its final selling destination.
 
Gross margin decreased to 35.7% of sales in 2016, or 30 basis points, compared to 2015. On a dollar basis, gross margin decreased $75 million, or 1.6%, to $4,476 million in 2016 compared to $4,551 million in the prior year. The net 30 basis point decrease resulted primarily from the addition of lower margin appliances to our assortment and increased sales of merchandise with tighter margins.

SG&A Expenses
SG&A expenses declined $237 million to $3,538 million in 2016 compared to $3,775 million in 2015. As a percent of sales, SG&A expenses were 28.2% compared to 29.9% in the prior year. The net 170 basis point improvement was primarily driven by lower incentive compensation, store controllable costs, corporate overhead and more efficient advertising spend.

Our private label credit card and co-branded MasterCard® programs are owned and serviced by Synchrony Financial (Synchrony).  Under our agreement with Synchrony, we receive cash payments from Synchrony based upon the performance of the credit card portfolio.  We participate in the programs by providing marketing promotions designed to increase the use of each card, including enhanced marketing offers for cardholders. Additionally, we accept payments in our stores from cardholders who prefer to pay in person when they are shopping in our locations. The income we earn under our agreement with Synchrony is included as an offset to SG&A expenses. For 2016 and 2015, we recognized income of $347 million and $367 million, respectively, pursuant to our agreement with Synchrony.
Pension
($ in millions)
 
2016
 
2015
Primary pension plan expense/(income)
 
$
1

 
$
154

Supplemental pension plans expense/(income)
 
18

 
8

Total pension expense/(income)
 
$
19

 
$
162


Total pension expense, which consists of our Primary Pension Plan expense and our supplemental pension plans expense, decreased primarily due to the $180 million settlement charge of unrecognized actuarial losses that occurred in 2015. The settlement charge related to the total transfer of approximately $1.5 billion in Primary Pension Plan assets to settle a portion of the Primary Pension Plan obligation. Additionally, the MTM adjustment was expense of $11 million and $52 million in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Depreciation and Amortization Expenses
Depreciation and amortization expense in 2016 decreased $7 million to $609 million, or 1.1%, compared to $616 million in 2015. This decrease is primarily a result of closing 50 store locations since the beginning of 2015.
Real Estate and Other, Net
Real estate and other consists of ongoing operating income from our real estate subsidiaries. Real estate and other also includes net gains from the sale of facilities and equipment that are no longer used in operations, asset impairments, accruals for certain litigation and other non-operating charges and credits. In addition, during the first quarter of 2014, we entered into the Home Office Land Joint Venture in which we contributed approximately 220 acres of excess property adjacent to our home office facility in Plano, Texas. The joint venture was formed to develop the contributed property and our proportional share of the joint venture's activities is recorded in Real estate and other, net.











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The composition of real estate and other, net was as follows:  
($ in millions)
 
2016
 
2015
Net gain from sale of non-operating assets
 
$
(5
)
 
$
(9
)
Investment income from Home Office Land Joint Venture
 
(28
)
 
(41
)
Net gain from sale of operating assets
 
(73
)
 
(9
)
Asset impairments
 

 
20

Other
 
(5
)
 
42

Total expense/(income)
 
$
(111
)
 
$
3


In 2016 and 2015, we sold several non-operating assets for a net gain of $5 million and $9 million, respectively. Investment income from the Home Office Land Joint Venture represents our proportional share of net income of the joint venture.

In 2016, the net gain from the sale of operating assets related to the sale of land surrounding our home office and the sale of excess property. In 2015, the net gain from the sale of operating assets related to the sale of a former furniture store location, payments received from landlords to terminate two leases prior to the original expiration date and the sale of excess property.

In 2015, we incurred an impairment charge related to the write-down of internal use software products.

Included in the other category in 2015 is a $50 million accrual for the proposed settlement related to a pricing class action lawsuit. Pursuant to the settlement, the Company paid $25 million in cash to certain class members and issued $25 million of store credit to the remainder of the class members.

See "Restructuring and Management Transition" below for additional impairments related to stores closed in 2015.
Restructuring and Management Transition
The composition of restructuring and management transition charges was as follows:     
($ in millions)
 
2016
 
2015
Home office and stores
 
$
8

 
$
42

Management transition
 
3

 
28

Other
 
15

 
14

Total
 
$
26

 
$
84


In 2016 and 2015, we recorded $8 million and $42 million, respectively, of costs to reduce our store and home office expenses. The costs relate to employee termination benefits, lease termination costs and impairment charges associated with the closure of 7 underperforming department stores in 2016. Additionally, the costs include employee termination benefits in connection with the elimination of approximately 300 positions in our home office in 2015.

We also implemented several changes within our management leadership team during 2016 and 2015 that resulted in management transition costs of $3 million and $28 million, respectively, for both incoming and outgoing members of management. Other miscellaneous restructuring charges of $15 million and $14 million, primarily related to contract termination and other costs associated with our previous shops strategy, were recorded during 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Operating Income/(Loss)
For 2016, we reported operating income of $395 million compared to an operating loss of $89 million in 2015, which is an improvement of $484 million.

(Gain)/Loss on Extinguishment of Debt
During the first quarter of 2016, we repurchased and retired $60 million aggregate principal amount of our outstanding debt resulting in a gain on extinguishment of debt of $4 million.

During the second quarter of 2016, we completed the refinancing of the 2013 Term Loan Facility and the issuance of the Senior Secured Notes, resulting in a loss on extinguishment of debt of $34 million.

In December 2015, we prepaid and retired the outstanding $494 million principal amount of the term loan under our $2,350

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Table of Contents

million asset-based senior secured credit facility (2014 Credit Facility) and recognized a loss on extinguishment of debt of $10 million for the write off of the related unamortized debt issuance costs.

Net Interest Expense
Net interest expense consists principally of interest expense on long-term debt, net of interest income earned on cash and cash equivalents.  In 2016, Net interest expense was $363 million, a decrease of $42 million, or 10.4%, from $405 million in 2015. The reduction in net interest expense is primarily due to refinancing the 2013 Term Loan Facility.
 
Income Taxes
Our net deferred tax assets, which include the future tax benefits of our net operating loss carryforwards, are subject to a valuation allowance. At January 28, 2017, the federal and state valuation allowances were $765 million and $228 million, respectively. Future book pre-tax losses will require additional valuation allowances to offset the deferred tax assets created. Until such time that we achieve sufficient profitability to allow removal of most of our valuation allowance, utilization of our loss carryforwards will result in a corresponding decrease in the valuation allowance and offset our tax provision dollar for dollar.

Each period we are required to allocate our income tax expense or benefit to continuing operations and other items such as other comprehensive income and stockholder’s equity.  In accordance with these rules, when we have a loss in continuing operations and a gain in other comprehensive income, as arose in 2013, we are required to recognize a tax benefit in continuing operations up to the amount of tax expense that we are required to report in other comprehensive income.  In 2016, we experienced income in both continuing operations and other comprehensive income.  Under the allocation rules, we are only required to recognize the valuation allowance allocable to the tax benefit attributable to losses in each component of comprehensive income.  Accordingly, there is no valuation allowance offsetting a deferred tax benefit attributable to other comprehensive income included in the total valuation allowance of $993 million noted above.

For 2016, we recorded a net tax expense of $1 million. The net tax expense included $7 million related to the amortization of certain indefinite-lived intangible assets, $9 million for state and foreign jurisdictions where loss carryforwards are limited or unavailable offset by net tax benefits of $1 million to adjust the valuation allowance, $2 million for state audit settlements and $12 million related to other comprehensive income.

For 2015, we recorded a net tax expense of $9 million. The net tax expense included $7 million related to the amortization of certain indefinite-lived intangible assets, $12 million for state and foreign jurisdictions where loss carryforwards are limited or unavailable offset by net tax benefits of $2 million for state audit settlements and $8 million to adjust the valuation allowance.
 
Net Income/(Loss) and Adjusted Net Income/(Loss)
In 2016, we reported income of $1 million, or $0.00 per share, compared with a loss of $513 million, or $1.68 per share, last year. Excluding the impact of restructuring and management transition charges, the impact of our Primary Pension Plan expense, the mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans, the loss on extinguishment of debt, the net gain on sale of non-operating assets, the proportional share of net income from joint venture and the tax impact resulting from other comprehensive income allocation, adjusted net income/(loss) (non-GAAP) went from a loss of $315 million, or $1.03 per share, in 2015 to income of $24 million, or $0.08 per share, in 2016.

Overall, net income/(loss) and adjusted net income/(loss) improved significantly in 2016 as compared to the corresponding prior year periods as we were able to reduce our operating costs.

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP)
In 2016, EBITDA was $1,004 million, an improvement of $477 million from EBITDA of $527 million in the prior year corresponding period. Excluding restructuring and management transition charges, the impact of our Primary Pension Plan expense/(income), the mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans, the net gain on the sale of non-operating assets and the proportional share of net income from the Home Office Land Joint Venture, adjusted EBITDA was $1,009 million, improving $294 million for 2016 compared to adjusted EBITDA of $715 million for the prior year corresponding period.


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Table of Contents

2015 Compared to 2014  

Total Net Sales
 
2015
 
2014
Total net sales (in millions)
$
12,625

  
$
12,257

Sales percent increase/(decrease)
 
 
 
Total net sales(1)
3.0
%
 
3.4
%
Comparable store sales(2)
4.5
%
 
4.4
%
Sales per gross square foot(3)
$
120

  
$
113


(1)
Comparable store sales are presented on a 52-week basis and include sales from all stores, including sales from services and commissions earned from our in-store licensed departments, that have been open for 12 consecutive full fiscal months and Internet sales. Stores closed for an extended period are not included in comparable store sales calculations, while stores remodeled and minor expansions not requiring store closure remain in the calculations. Certain items, such as sales return estimates and store liquidation sales, are excluded from the Company's calculation. Our definition and calculation of comparable store sales may differ from other companies in the retail industry.
(2)
Calculation includes the sales, including commission revenue, and square footage of department stores, including selling space allocated to services and licensed departments, that were open for the full fiscal year, as well as Internet sales.

Total net sales increased $368 million in 2015 compared to 2014. The following table provides the components of the net sales increase:
($ in millions)
2015
Comparable store sales increase/(decrease)
$
538

Sales related to closed stores, net
(175
)
Other revenues and sales adjustments
5

Total net sales increase/(decrease)
$
368


For 2015, conversion, transaction counts and average unit retail increased, while the units per transaction decreased as compared to the prior year. On a geographic basis, all regions experienced comparable store sales increases for 2015 compared to the prior year. During 2015, our Sephora, Footwear and Handbags, Home, and Men's merchandise divisions experienced sales increases. Sephora, which reflected the addition of 28 Sephora inside JCPenney locations, experienced the highest sales increase.

Gross Margin
Gross margin increased to 36.0% of sales in 2015, or 120 basis points, compared to 2014. On a dollar basis, gross margin increased $290 million, or 6.8%, to $4,551 million in 2015 compared to $4,261 million in the prior year. The net 120 basis point increase resulted primarily from improved margins on our clearance merchandise.
 
SG&A Expenses
SG&A expenses declined $218 million to $3,775 million in 2015 compared to $3,993 million in 2014. As a percent of sales, SG&A expenses were 29.9% compared to 32.6% in the prior year. The net 270 basis point decrease primarily resulted from lower store controllable costs, more efficient advertising spend and improved private label credit card revenue, which is recorded as a reduction of our SG&A expenses. These decreases were partially offset by an increase in incentive compensation.

Our private label credit card and co-branded MasterCard® programs are owned and serviced by Synchrony Financial (Synchrony).  Under our agreement with Synchrony, we receive cash payments from Synchrony based upon the performance of the credit card portfolio.  We participate in the programs by providing marketing promotions designed to increase the use of each card, including enhanced marketing offers for cardholders. Additionally, we accept payments in our stores from cardholders who prefer to pay in person when they are shopping in our locations. The income we earn under our agreement with Synchrony is included as an offset to SG&A expenses. For 2015 and 2014, we recognized income of $367 million and $313 million, respectively, pursuant to our agreement with Synchrony.
 

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Table of Contents

Pension Expense
($ in millions)
 
2015
 
2014
Primary pension plan expense/(income)
 
$
154

 
$
(18
)
Supplemental pension plans expense/(income)
 
8

 
(30
)
Total pension expense/(income)
 
$
162

 
$
(48
)

Total pension expense, which consists of our Primary Pension Plan expense and our supplemental pension plans expense, increased primarily due to the $180 million settlement charge of unrecognized actuarial losses as a result of a total transfer of approximately $1.5 billion in Primary Pension Plan assets to settle a portion of the Primary Pension Plan obligation. The transfers included a lump-sum payment of Primary Pension Plan assets as elected by a group of plan participants and the purchase of an annuity contract from an insurance company that will pay and administer future benefits to select retirees. Additionally, the MTM adjustment was expense of $52 million and $12 million in 2015 and 2014, respectively.
 
Depreciation and Amortization Expense
Depreciation and amortization expense in 2015 decreased $15 million to $616 million, or 2.4%, compared to $631 million in 2014. This decrease is primarily a result of closing 74 store locations since the beginning of 2014.

Real Estate and Other, Net
The composition of real estate and other, net was as follows:  
($ in millions)
 
2015
 
2014
Net gain from sale of non-operating assets
 
$
(9
)
 
$
(25
)
Investment income from Home Office Land Joint Venture
 
(41
)
 
(53
)
Net gain from sale of operating assets
 
(9
)
 
(92
)
Store and other asset impairments
 
20

 
30

Other
 
42

 
(8
)
Total expense/(income)
 
$
3

 
$
(148
)

In 2015 and 2014, we sold several non-operating assets for a net gain of $9 million and $25 million, respectively. Investment income from the Home Office Land Joint Venture represents our proportional share of net income of the joint venture.

In 2015, the net gain from the sale of operating assets related to the sale of a former furniture store location, payments received from landlords to terminate two leases prior to the original expiration date and the sale of excess property. In 2014, the net gain from the sale of operating assets related to the sale of three department store locations.

Store impairments totaled $- million and $30 million in 2015 and 2014, respectively. The 2014 impairments related to 19 underperforming department stores that continued to operate. Additionally, in 2015, we incurred an impairment charge related to the write-down of internal use software products that were not implemented.

Included in the other category is a $50 million accrual for the proposed settlement related to a pricing class action lawsuit.

See "Restructuring and Management Transition" below for additional impairments related to store closures.

Restructuring and Management Transition
The composition of restructuring and management transition charges was as follows:    
($ in millions)
 
2015
 
2014
Home office and stores
 
$
42

 
$
45

Management transition
 
28

 
16

Other
 
14

 
26

Total
 
$
84

 
$
87


In 2015 and 2014, we recorded $42 million and $45 million, respectively, of costs to reduce our store and home office expenses. The costs relate to employee termination benefits, lease termination costs and impairment charges associated with the expected closure of 7 underperforming department stores in 2016 and the 2015 closing of 41 such stores. Additionally, the

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Table of Contents

costs include employee termination benefits in connection with the elimination of approximately 300 positions in our home office in 2015.

We also implemented several changes within our management leadership team during 2015 and 2014 that resulted in management transition costs of $28 million and $16 million, respectively, for both incoming and outgoing members of management. Other miscellaneous restructuring charges of $14 million and $26 million, primarily related to contract termination and other costs associated with our previous shops strategy, were recorded during 2015 and 2014, respectively.

Operating Income/(Loss)
For 2015, we reported an operating loss of $89 million compared to an operating loss of $254 million in 2014, which was an improvement of $165 million.

Loss on Extinguishment of Debt
In December 2015, we prepaid and retired the outstanding $494 million principal amount of the term loan under the 2014 Credit Facility and recognized a loss on extinguishment of debt of $10 million for the write off of the related unamortized debt issuance costs.

Net Interest Expense
Net interest expense was $405 million, a decrease of $1 million, or 0.2%, from $406 million in 2014.

Income Taxes
Our net deferred tax assets, which include the future tax benefits of our net operating loss carryforwards, are subject to a valuation allowance. At January 30, 2016, the federal and state valuation allowances were $789 million and $236 million, respectively. Future book pre-tax losses will require additional valuation allowances to offset the deferred tax assets created. Until such time that we achieve sufficient profitability to allow removal of most of our valuation allowance, utilization of our loss carryforwards will result in a corresponding decrease in the valuation allowance and offset our tax provision dollar for dollar.

Each period we are required to allocate our income tax expense or benefit to continuing operations and other items such as other comprehensive income and stockholder’s equity.  In accordance with these rules when we have a loss in continuing operations and a gain in other comprehensive income, as arose in 2013, we are required to recognize a tax benefit in continuing operations up to the amount of tax expense that we are required to report in other comprehensive income.  In 2015, we experienced losses in both continuing operations and other comprehensive income.  Under the allocation rules we are required to recognize the valuation allowance allocable to the tax benefit attributable to these losses in each component of comprehensive income.  Accordingly, included in the total valuation allowance of $1,025 million noted above is $244 million of valuation allowance which offsets the deferred tax benefit attributable to the actuarial loss reported in other comprehensive income.

For 2015, we recorded a net tax expense of $9 million. The net tax expense included $7 million related to the amortization of certain indefinite-lived intangible assets, $12 million for state and foreign jurisdictions where loss carryforwards are limited or unavailable offset by net tax benefits of $2 million for state audit settlements and $8 million to adjust the valuation allowance.

For 2014, we recorded a net tax expense of $23 million. The net tax expense included $7 million related to the amortization of certain indefinite-lived intangible assets, $10 million for state and foreign jurisdictions where loss carryforwards are limited or unavailable and $6 million for federal and state audit settlements.

Net Income/(Loss) and Adjusted Net Income/(Loss)
In 2015, we reported a loss of $513 million, or $1.68 per share, compared with a loss of $717 million, or $2.35 per share, in 2014. Excluding the impact of restructuring and management transition charges, the impact of our Primary Pension Plan expense, the mark-to-market adjustment for supplemental retirement plans, the loss on extinguishment of debt, the net gain on sale of non-operating assets, the proportional share of net income from joint venture and certain net gains, adjusted net income/(loss) (non-GAAP) went from a loss of $766 million, or $2.51 per share, in 2014 to a loss of $315 million, or $1.03 per share, in 2015.

Overall, net income/(loss) and adjusted net income/(loss) improved significantly in 2015 as compared to the corresponding prior year periods as we were able to improve sales, achieve higher margins and reduce our operating costs.



36

Table of Contents

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP)
In 2015, EBITDA was $527 million, an improvement of $150 million from EBITDA of $377 million in the prior year corresponding period. Excluding restructuring and management transition charges, the impact of our Primary Pension Plan expense/(income), the net gain on the sale of non-operating assets, the proportional share of net income from the Home Office Land Joint Venture and certain net gains, adjusted EBITDA was $715 million, improving $423 million for 2015 compared to adjusted EBITDA of $292 million for the prior year corresponding period.

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Table of Contents

Financial Condition and Liquidity
Overview
Our primary sources of liquidity are cash generated from operations, available cash and cash equivalents and access to our revolving credit facility. During 2016, we executed the following transactions:

Completed the refinancing of the 2013 Term Loan Facility with the amended and restated $1.688 billion 2016 Term Loan Facility and the issuance of $500 million aggregate principal amount of 5.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2023.

Sold excess land surrounding our home office for $80 million and recognized a $62 million gain.

Executed a sale-leaseback for the Home Office that resulted in $216 million of net cash proceeds.

We ended the year with $887 million of cash and cash equivalents, a decrease of $13 million from the prior year. As of the end of 2016, based on our borrowing base and amounts reserved for outstanding standby and import letters of credit, we had $1,904 million available for future borrowings under the Revolving Facility, providing a total available liquidity of $2.8 billion.
 
The following table provides a summary of our key components and ratios of financial condition and liquidity:
($ in millions) 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
Cash and cash equivalents
$
887

 
$
900

 
$
1,318

Merchandise inventory
2,854

 
2,721

 
2,652

Property and equipment, net
4,599

 
4,816

 
5,148

Total debt(1)
4,836

 
4,805

 
5,321

Stockholders’ equity
1,354

 
1,309

 
1,914

Total capital
6,190

 
6,114

 
7,235

Maximum capacity under our credit agreement
2,350

 
2,350

 
1,850

Cash flow from operating activities
334

 
440

 
239

Free cash flow (non-GAAP)(2)
3

 
131

 
57

Capital expenditures
427

 
320

 
252

Ratios:
 

 
 

 
 

  Debt-to-total capital(3)
78.1
%
 
78.6
%
 
73.5
%
  Cash-to-debt(4)
18.3
%
 
18.7
%
 
24.8
%
 
(1)
Total debt includes long-term debt, net of unamortized debt issuance costs, including current maturities, capital leases, financing obligation, note payable and any borrowings under our revolving credit facility.
(2)
See Item 6, Selected Financial Data, for a discussion of this non-GAAP financial measure and reconciliation to its most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.
(3)
Total debt divided by total capital.
(4)
Cash and cash equivalents divided by total debt.

Free Cash Flow (Non-GAAP)
During 2016, free cash flow decreased $128 million to an inflow of $3 million compared to an inflow of $131 million in 2015. Free cash flow was impacted by an increase in capital expenditures, the 2016 payment of incentive compensation incurred in 2015 and the payment of legal settlements during 2016 when compared to 2015.
 
Operating Activities
While a significant portion of our sales, profit and operating cash flows have historically been realized in the fourth quarter, our quarterly results of operations may fluctuate significantly as a result of many factors, including seasonal fluctuations in customer demand, product offerings, inventory levels and the impact of our strategy to return to profitable growth.
 
In 2016, cash flow from operating activities was an inflow of $334 million, a decrease of $106 million compared to an inflow of $440 million during the same period last year. Our net income as of the end of 2016 of $1 million included significant charges and credits that did not impact operating cash flow, including depreciation and amortization, loss on extinguishment of debt, benefit plans, the sale of operating and non-operating assets and stock-based compensation. Overall, the decrease in cash from operations was driven primarily by the payment of incentive compensation and other expenses in 2016 where such

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incurred expenses did not accrue at the same levels as had occurred in 2015. In addition, during 2016 we received an aggregate cash distribution of $44 million from the Home Office Land Joint Venture of which $31 million was included in operating activities and $13 million was classified as investing activities as it was considered a return of investment as the aggregate cash distribution exceeded our proportional share of the cumulative earnings of the joint venture by this amount. Cash flows from operating activities also included construction allowances from landlords of $43 million, which provided additional cash that was used to fund a portion of our capital expenditures in investing activities.
Merchandise inventory increased $133 million to $2,854 million, or 4.9%, as of the end of 2016 compared to $2,721 million as of the end of last year. Inventory turns for 2016, 2015 and 2014 were 2.59, 2.65 and 2.74 respectively.  Merchandise accounts payable increased $52 million at the end of 2016 compared to 2015.

In 2015, cash flow from operating activities was an inflow of $440 million, an increase of $201 million compared to an inflow of $239 million during the prior year. Our net loss as of the end of 2015 of $513 million included significant charges and credits that did not impact operating cash flow, including depreciation and amortization, certain restructuring and management transition charges, loss on extinguishment of debt, benefit plans, the sale of operating and non-operating assets and asset impairments. Overall, the generation of cash from operations was driven primarily by the increase in sales and operating performance of the Company, including higher margins and better expense control. In addition, during 2015 we received an aggregate cash distribution of $36 million from the Home Office Land Joint Venture. Cash flows from operating activities also included construction allowances from landlords of $17 million, which provided additional cash that was used to fund a portion of our capital expenditures in investing activities.

Investing Activities
In 2016, investing activities was a cash outflow of $316 million compared to an outflow of $296 million for 2015. The increase in the cash outflow from investing activities was primarily a result of an increase in capital expenditures offset by the increase in proceeds from the sale of operating assets.
For 2016, capital expenditures were $427 million. At the end of the year, we also had an additional $33 million of accrued capital expenditures, which will be paid in subsequent periods. The capital expenditures for 2016 related primarily to the roll out of over 500 appliance showrooms, the roll out of our center core concept in 350 locations, the opening of 60 Sephora inside JCPenney stores, other investments in our store environment and store facility improvements and investments in information technology in both our home office and stores. We received construction allowances from landlords of $43 million in 2016, which are classified as operating activities, to fund a portion of the capital expenditures related to store leasehold improvements. These funds have been recorded as deferred rent credits in the Consolidated Balance Sheets and are amortized as an offset to rent expense.
In 2015, investing activities was a cash outflow of $296 million compared to an outflow of $142 million for 2014. The increase in the cash outflow from investing activities was primarily a result of an increase in capital expenditures and a decrease in proceeds from the sale of operating assets.
For 2015, capital expenditures were $320 million. At the end of the year, we also had an additional $13 million of accrued capital expenditures, which were paid in 2016. The capital expenditures for 2015 related primarily to the opening of 28 Sephora inside JCPenney stores, investments in information technology in both our home office and stores and investments in our store environment. We also received construction allowances from landlords of $17 million in 2015.
 
The following provides a breakdown of capital expenditures:
($ in millions)
2016
 
2015
 
2014
Store renewals and updates
$
240

 
$
170

 
$
152

Capitalized software
100

 
93

 
39

New and relocated stores
17

 

 
30

Technology and other
70

 
57

 
31

Total
$
427

 
$
320

 
$
252


We expect our investment in capital expenditures for 2017 to be approximately $400 million, net of construction allowances from landlords, which will relate primarily to our store environment, investments in information technology and the continued roll-out of approximately 70 new Sephora inside JCPenney locations and approximately 100 new appliance showrooms. Our plan is to fund these expenditures with cash flow from operations and existing cash and cash equivalents.

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Financing Activities
In 2016, cash flows from financing activities were an outflow of $31 million compared to an outflow of $562 million for the same period last year.

During 2016, we completed the refinancing of the 2013 Term Loan Facility with the amended and restated $1.688 billion 2016 Term Loan Facility and the issuance of $500 million aggregate principal amount of 5.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2023. We also received net cash proceeds of $216 million for the sale-leaseback of our home office. Additionally, we repurchased and retired $60 million aggregate principal amount of our debt, repaid $78 million of debt at maturity and repaid $29 million on our capital leases and note payable.

During 2015, we prepaid and retired the $494 million outstanding principal amount of the term loan under the 2014 Credit Facility. Through 2015, we repaid $33 million on our capital leases and note payable and $22 million on the 2013 Term Loan Facility. In addition, we incurred $4 million of financing costs relating to the 2014 Credit Facility.

Cash Flow and Financing Outlook
Our primary sources of liquidity are cash generated from operations, available cash and cash equivalents and access to our revolving credit facility. Our cash flows may be impacted by many factors including the economic environment, consumer confidence, competitive conditions in the retail industry and the success of our strategies. For 2017, we believe that our existing liquidity will be adequate to fund our capital expenditures and working capital needs; however, in accordance with our long-term financing strategy, we may access the capital markets opportunistically.

2014 Credit Facility
The Company has a $2,350 million asset-based senior secured credit facility (2014 Credit Facility) that is comprised of a $2,350 million revolving line of credit (Revolving Facility). As of the end of 2016, we had no borrowings outstanding under the Revolving Facility. In addition, as of the end of 2016, based on our borrowing base, we had $2,061 million available for borrowing under the facility, of which $157 million was reserved for outstanding standby and import letters of credit, none of which have been drawn on, leaving $1,904 million for future borrowings. The applicable rate for standby and import letters of credit were 2.50% and 1.25%, respectively, while the commitment fee was 0.375% for the unused portion of the Revolving Facility.
Credit Ratings
Our credit ratings and outlook as of March 20, 2017 were as follows: 
 
Corporate
 
Outlook
Fitch Ratings
B+
 
Stable
Moody’s Investors Service, Inc.
B1
 
Stable
Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services
B+
 
Positive
 
Credit rating agencies periodically review our capital structure and the quality and stability of our earnings.  Rating agencies consider, among other things, changes in operating performance, comparable store sales, the economic environment, conditions in the retail industry, financial leverage and changes in our business strategy in their rating decisions.  Downgrades to our long-term credit ratings could result in reduced access to the credit and capital markets and higher interest costs on future financings.
 
















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Contractual Obligations and Commitments
Aggregated information about our obligations and commitments to make future contractual payments, such as debt and lease agreements, and contingent commitments as of January 28, 2017 is presented in the following table.
($ in millions)
Total
 
Less Than 1
Year
 
1 - 3
Years
 
3 - 5
Years
 
More Than 5
Years
Recorded contractual obligations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total debt, excluding unamortized debt issuance costs, capital leases, financing obligation and note payable
$
4,665

 
$
263

 
$
749

 
$
484

 
$
3,169

Capital leases, financing obligation and note payable
314

 
30

 
42

 
37

 
205

Unrecognized tax benefits(1)
79

 
3

 

 

 
76

Contributions to non-qualified supplemental retirement and postretirement medical plans(2)
147

 
26

 
34

 
29

 
58

 
$
5,205

 
$
322

 
$
825

 
$
550

 
$
3,508

Unrecorded contractual obligations: