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Bon-Ton Stores Proves The Value Of Shorting A Stock

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On December 5, 2013, Bon-Ton Stores (NASDAQ: BONT) closed at $17.51.

That day, Benzinga published an article, "3 Reasons to Short Bon-Ton Stores." Bon-Ton Department Stores is now trading around $12.40 a share. It is off by well over 30 percent for the last month of market action.

The reasons cited in the article are just as valid today, if not more so for investors looking to profit from establishing a short position on a stock.

Overall, the main factor to short Bon-Ton Department Stores is that it is a classic value trap. Due to the poor performance of the store, the price-to-sales ratio is 0.08. That means that every dollar of sales is going for only $0.08 in the stock price. To some, that screams buy.

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As pointed out in the December 5 article, the best way to profit would be to cry out "go short" to your broker, and then run for cover from the plunging stock price.

Bon-Ton Stores has too much debt, too little cash, and too little in the way of customers to its merchandise. Like other department stores in the retail sector such as JC Penney and Sears, it is a value trap, not a value play.

When the article was published, Bon-Ton Stores was up 30 percent for the month. It had just had its target price lifted from $13.50 to $16 by Telsey Advisory Group.

The mean analyst target price for Bon-Ton Department Stores is still $15.50 over the next year. But the short float is over 25 percent, which is where the money is being made; and should be well into the future.

Latest Ratings for BONT

DateFirmActionFromTo
Nov 2013Credit SuisseUpgradesUnderperformNeutral
Oct 2013Imperial CapitalMaintainsIn-line
May 2013KeyBancDowngradesBuyHold

View More Analyst Ratings for BONT
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

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