J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP)’s share price dropped 1.6% on Tuesday . The stock traded as low as $8.52 and last traded at $8.54, with a volume of 7,722,368 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $8.68.

JCP has been the subject of several recent research reports. Vetr upgraded shares of J.C. Penney from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $12.69 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, March 16th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted their price objective on shares of J.C. Penney from $6.00 to $9.00 and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, March 28th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and set a $20.00 price objective on shares of J.C. Penney in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. Northcoast Research raised shares of J.C. Penney from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of J.C. Penney in a research note on Wednesday, April 13th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $10.91.

The company’s 50 day moving average is $8.40 and its 200 day moving average is $8.70. The stock’s market cap is $2.62 billion.

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

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

Other hedge funds have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. increased its stake 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 during the period. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC increased its stake 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 during the period. Comerica Bank increased its stake in J.C. Penney by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 217,987 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $1,563,000 after buying an additional 2,167 shares during the period. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI increased its stake in J.C. Penney by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 386,750 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $2,576,000 after buying an additional 4,197 shares during the period. Finally, Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its stake in J.C. Penney by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 392,554 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $2,614,000 after buying an additional 5,121 shares during the period.

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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