J.C. Penney (JCP) Moves Higher in Pre-Market Trading

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- J.C. Penney Company Inc.  (JCP) could eliminate some of its Wednesday losses if the 3% increase in pre-market activity on Thursday is any indication.

The stock climbed to $7.60 a share from its previous close of $7.37 before the market opened on Thursday. The boost came in part from a report by Piper Jaffray, which upgraded the stock from Neutral to Overweight after what analysts felt was an overreaction to J.C. Penney's Wednesday report.

The company issued a brief release in which it said it was "pleased with its performance for the holiday period" but offered no concrete data whatsoever. The report spurred more questions than answers and sent some investors running as the stock dropped 10% on Wednesday.

Here is the J.C. Penney press release:

"JCPenney reported today that the Company is pleased with its performance for the holiday period, showing continued progress in its turnaround efforts. Customers responded well to the Company's offerings this holiday shopping season, both in store and online. JCPenney also reaffirmed its outlook for the fourth quarter of 2013, as previously set out in the Company's third quarter earnings release dated Nov. 20, 2013."

TheStreet Ratings team rates PENNEY (J C) CO as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PENNEY (J C) CO (JCP) a SELL. This is driven by multiple weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its feeble growth in its earnings per share, deteriorating net income, generally high debt management risk, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."

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