J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) traded down 2.6% on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $1.51 and last traded at $1.52. 99,060 shares changed hands during trading, a decline of 99% from the average session volume of 16,435,539 shares. The stock had previously closed at $1.56.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Piper Jaffray Companies restated a “hold” rating and set a $1.50 target price on shares of J C Penney in a report on Friday, August 17th. B. Riley dropped their price objective on J C Penney from $3.00 to $2.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Friday, August 17th. Bank of America cut J C Penney from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Citigroup dropped their price objective on J C Penney to $2.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a report on Friday, August 17th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut J C Penney from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 21st. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and fourteen have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $3.13.

The stock has a market capitalization of $521.72 million, a PE ratio of 7.06 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a quick ratio of 0.20, a current ratio of 1.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.43.

J C Penney (NYSE:JCP) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 16th. The department store operator reported ($0.38) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.06) by ($0.32). J C Penney had a negative return on equity of 8.98% and a negative net margin of 0.43%. The firm had revenue of $2.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.81 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted ($0.09) EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 7.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts anticipate that J C Penney Company Inc will post -0.83 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of JCP. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in J C Penney by 28.1% during the 1st quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 142,816 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $431,000 after buying an additional 31,348 shares in the last quarter. Dynamic Technology Lab Private Ltd purchased a new position in J C Penney in the first quarter worth $454,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in J C Penney by 51.9% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 1,157,675 shares of the department store operator’s stock worth $2,709,000 after purchasing an additional 395,452 shares during the last quarter. Newport Trust Co boosted its position in J C Penney by 3.3% in the second quarter. Newport Trust Co now owns 13,809,203 shares of the department store operator’s stock worth $32,314,000 after purchasing an additional 441,186 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV purchased a new position in J C Penney in the second quarter worth $160,000. 72.18% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About J C Penney (NYSE:JCP)

J. C. Penney Company, Inc, through its subsidiary J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc, sells merchandise through department stores. The company primarily sells family apparel and footwear, accessories, fine and fashion jewelry, beauty products, home furnishings, and large appliances; and provides services, including styling salon, optical, portrait photography, custom decorating, and home services.

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