Shares of J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP) dropped 2.7% during trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $8.30 and last traded at $8.43, with a volume of 9,442,301 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $8.66.

JCP has been the topic of several research reports. Northcoast Research upgraded shares of J.C. Penney from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, April 4th. Deutsche Bank AG increased their price target on shares of J.C. Penney from $12.00 to $14.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 11th. Vetr lowered shares of J.C. Penney from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $12.69 target price on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, March 10th. Miller Tabak initiated coverage on shares of J.C. Penney in a research report on Tuesday, March 8th. They set a “buy” rating and a $17.00 target price on the stock. Finally, B. Riley restated a “buy” rating and set a $16.50 target price on shares of J.C. Penney in a research report on Thursday, May 12th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. J.C. Penney currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $10.91.

The firm’s market capitalization is $2.63 billion. The company’s 50-day moving average is $8.23 and its 200-day moving average is $8.66.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) last released its earnings results on Friday, May 13th. The department store operator reported ($0.32) earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of ($0.38) by $0.06. The firm earned $2.81 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.92 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted ($0.55) earnings per share. J.C. Penney’s quarterly revenue was down 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that J.C. Penney Co. will post $0.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Ronald W. Tysoe bought 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 17th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $7.24 per share, with a total value of $181,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 68,469 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $495,715.56. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in JCP. Royce & Associates LLC boosted its position in J.C. Penney by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. Royce & Associates LLC now owns 1,474,884 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $9,823,000 after buying an additional 32,000 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in J.C. Penney by 3.9% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 973,544 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $6,484,000 after buying an additional 36,188 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its position in J.C. Penney by 12.0% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,429,584 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $9,521,000 after buying an additional 153,250 shares in the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its position in J.C. Penney by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 204,018 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $1,359,000 after buying an additional 616 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in J.C. Penney by 51.6% in the fourth quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. now owns 196,974 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $1,311,000 after buying an additional 67,028 shares in the last quarter.

J. C. Penney Company, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s operating subsidiary is J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc (JCP). The Company’s business consists of selling merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores and its Website at jcpenney.com, which utilizes optimized applications for desktop, mobile and tablet devices.

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