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jcp-300x226Everyone loves a good comeback story. Whether it’s sports, life or business, we love to soak in all the inspiration. One comeback story starting to emerge is incredibly impressive because, well, some of us thought it was never going to happen. I predicted retailer J.C. Penney (JCP) would declare bankruptcy before or after Christmas, 2014 and actually pinned that prediction on a colleague’s wall. I was wrong. Now, I’m mighty impressed with JCP as it moves toward a comeback. More importantly, investors are impressed, and for good reason. While still trading well below its  52-week high of just over $19 per share, JCP shares bounced up 16% last  Friday to close at $9.73 per share. The bounce came after it reported first quarter 2014 results that showed  solid revenue growth, including a 6.2% jump in same-store sales.  The critical same-store sales metric showed JCP’s second quarterly gain –prior to those quarters, it had  nine consecutive quarters of same-store sales declines. In the report, JCP said it narrowed its loss in the first quarter to 1.15 a share from the loss of $1.58 a share in the year-earlier quarter. That was better than the $1.24-a-share loss analysts had expected. Here are three reasons JCP has a chance to succeed and reward investors for the long term.

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