J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE:JCP) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Wednesday . 13,876,368 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 25% from the previous session’s volume of 11,096,655 shares.The stock last traded at $8.99 and had previously closed at $9.28.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on JCP. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “sell” rating on shares of J.C. Penney in a report on Tuesday, May 17th. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of J.C. Penney in a report on Wednesday, April 13th. B. Riley reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $15.00 target price on shares of J.C. Penney in a report on Monday, June 13th. Argus reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of J.C. Penney in a report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded J.C. Penney from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $10.91.

The company’s market capitalization is $2.81 billion. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $8.81 and a 200 day moving average price of $8.92.

J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) last released its earnings results on Friday, May 13th. The department store operator reported ($0.32) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.38) by $0.06. The company earned $2.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.92 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.55) EPS. J.C. Penney’s revenue was down 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that J.C. Penney Co. will post $0.03 earnings per share for the current year.

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

Several hedge funds recently added to or reduced their stakes in JCP. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in J.C. Penney by 92.6% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 10,369,570 shares of the department store operator’s stock worth $69,062,000 after buying an additional 4,985,651 shares in the last quarter. Hodges Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in J.C. Penney by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Hodges Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,444,890 shares of the department store operator’s stock worth $16,283,000 after buying an additional 45,690 shares in the last quarter. Royce & Associates LLC increased its stake 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 worth $9,823,000 after buying an additional 32,000 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its stake 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 worth $6,484,000 after buying an additional 36,188 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its stake 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 worth $9,521,000 after buying an additional 153,250 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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