J C Penney (NYSE:JCP) Shares Gap Up Following Earnings Beat

J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) shares gapped up prior to trading on Thursday following a better than expected earnings announcement. The stock had previously closed at $0.50, but opened at $0.57. J C Penney shares last traded at $0.58, with a volume of 14,394,307 shares traded.

The department store operator reported ($0.18) EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.31) by $0.13. J C Penney had a negative return on equity of 33.29% and a negative net margin of 2.78%. The firm had revenue of $2.51 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.62 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.38) earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded J C Penney from a “buy” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 1st. B. Riley reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $0.60 target price (down previously from $1.30) on shares of J C Penney in a report on Tuesday. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a hold rating to the stock. J C Penney presently has an average rating of “Sell” and a consensus price target of $2.48.

In related news, Director Javier G. Teruel purchased 223,419 shares of J C Penney stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 6th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $0.98 per share, for a total transaction of $218,950.62. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 1,045,903 shares in the company, valued at $1,024,984.94. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 1.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in JCP. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. increased its position in shares of J C Penney by 245.9% in the fourth quarter. D. E. Shaw & Co. Inc. now owns 29,187 shares of the department store operator’s stock valued at $30,000 after buying an additional 49,187 shares in the last quarter. Regentatlantic Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of J C Penney in the first quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. purchased a new stake in shares of J C Penney in the first quarter valued at approximately $41,000. Magnus Financial Group LLC purchased a new stake in shares of J C Penney in the first quarter valued at approximately $53,000. Finally, Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of J C Penney in the second quarter valued at approximately $74,000. Institutional investors own 69.79% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a market capitalization of $186.95 million, a PE ratio of -0.62 and a beta of 1.59. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $0.91 and a 200 day moving average price of $1.20. The company has a quick ratio of 0.24, a current ratio of 1.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.75.

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, and home furnishings; and provides services, including styling salon, optical, portrait photography, and custom decorating services.

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