J.C. Penney (JCP) Stock Rated ‘Hold’ at Jefferies

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of J.C. Penney  (JCP - Get Report) are down 4.21% to $8.07 late Tuesday afternoon as Jefferies rated the stock "hold" this morning with a $9 price target.

The firm made the decision citing "a challenging retail environment that may hinder progress."

The Plano, TX-based department store retailer is on the "road to recovery" after being placed under new management, a move that helped drive market share gains, Jefferies analysts said in an investor note.

J.C. Penney announced yesterday plans to expand its new appliance showroom concept to 500 stores nationwide after a successful test in February at 22 stores.

Beginning in early July through the fall, J.C. Penney will introduce major appliances to new stores every week. Consumers will have the option to buy these appliances on the company's website, starting late summer.

"We are encouraged by the progress made over the past year and see significant opportunity ahead," Jefferies stated.

J.C. Penney came under fire last Friday when the New York Post reported the retailer has been heavily cutting back on employee hours, among other things, in an effort to save money.

The company plans to report 2016 first quarter results before Friday's market open.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings rated J.C. Penney as a "hold" with a score of C-.

TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon.

Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:

The primary factors that have impacted this rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. However, as a counter to these strengths, TheStreet Ratings also finds weaknesses including unimpressive growth in net income, generally higher debt management risk and poor profit margins.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: JCP

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