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J.C. Penney & Co. (NYSE:JCP): Closing price $14.43
Both the research firms Citigroup and Oppenheimer downgraded J.C. Penney shares earlier Wednesday, and they behaved accordingly afterwards. Analyst Deborah Weinswig at Citi lowered her rating from Buy to Hold after meeting with the the retailer’s management, and is now more concerned that it will take longer than anticipated for J.C. Penney’s revenues to resume increasing. Weinswig is still upbeat about Penney’s long-term plans, but she finds its shorter term marketing and sales plans less appealing. More specifically, she wrote that the retailer’s pricing and promotional strategies still haven’t won over consumers, as she lowered her price target to $15 from $22.
In the meantime, Oppenheimer analyst Brian Nagel droppeded his rating on the historic retailer from Outperform to Perform. As with Weinswig, Nagel remains optimistic about the longer term outlook, but is worried about its near-term prospects, writing that risks are building that could soon “disrupt or even derail” J.C. Penney’s recovery, and that signs exist that the results of the company’s current quarter may be as bad as the results of its previous quarter, he believes. Shares closed down 3.54 percent on the day at $14.43, but have traded in a 52-week range of $14.92 to $39.73.
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