J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding Company (NYSE:JCP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday. The firm currently has a $6.25 price objective on the department store operator’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 21.12% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “J. C. Penney shares, which have underperformed the industry in the past six months, recently took a sharp U turn after the company informed that the sales performance has improved in the second quarter of fiscal 2017. Moreover, the company whose top line has missed the estimate in the trailing five quarters announced that it expects to post substantial improvement in sales in the second quarter in comparison with the first quarter. Further, in an effort to lure more customers and ramp up sales, management has introduced new loyalty program. These along with remodeling, renovation and refurbishment of stores with special attention on enhancing the reach of national and especially private-label brands looks promising. J. C. Penney is also gradually increasing the count of Sephora stores. However, the impact of challenging retail landscape, high debt level, stiff competition from online retailers, and waning store traffic concerns linger.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on JCP. Telsey Advisory Group boosted their target price on shares of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding from $7.00 to $11.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, May 15th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 16th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and issued a $7.00 target price on shares of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding in a research note on Tuesday, July 4th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated a “hold” rating on shares of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding in a research note on Saturday, May 13th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $6.50.

Shares of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding (NYSE JCP) opened at 5.16 on Thursday. The firm’s market cap is $1.60 billion. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding has a 12-month low of $4.17 and a 12-month high of $11.30. The company has a 50 day moving average of $4.97 and a 200-day moving average of $5.57. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding also saw some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Stock investors bought 47,850 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 803% compared to the typical daily volume of 5,301 put options.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding (NYSE:JCP) last issued its earnings results on Friday, May 12th. The department store operator reported $0.06 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of ($0.21) by $0.27. J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding had a negative net margin of 0.89% and a positive return on equity of 11.44%. The company had revenue of $2.71 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.78 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned ($0.22) EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding will post $0.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of JCP. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its position in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding by 33.6% in the first quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 16,721 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 4,205 shares during the last quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC raised its position in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding by 14.5% in the first quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 17,472 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $108,000 after buying an additional 2,212 shares during the last quarter. Parametrica Management Ltd bought a new position in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding during the first quarter valued at about $117,000. FNY Managed Accounts LLC bought a new position in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding during the first quarter valued at about $117,000. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott LLC raised its position in J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding by 84.4% in the first quarter. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC now owns 19,818 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 9,068 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 77.17% of the company’s stock.

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. Holding Company Profile

J. C. Penney Company, Inc is a holding company. The Company’s business consists of selling merchandise and services to consumers through its department stores and its Website at jcpenney.com. Its department stores and Website generally serve the same type of customers, its Website offers virtually the same mix of merchandise as its store assortment and other categories, and its department stores generally accept returns from sales made in stores and through its Website.

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