At Least One Analyst Still Has Faith in J.C. Penney (JCP)

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Investors were feeling skittish on J.C.Penney (JCP) over Wednesday's session but at least one investment research firm still has faith in a turnaround. Piper Jaffray has upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "neutral" with a price target of $11 on the belief 2014 will be a year of progress for the company. 

On Wednesday, the retailer closed 10% lower after releasing few details on its holiday sales performance. In a brief two-paragraph statement, the Plano, Texas-based business said it was pleased with its performance over the holiday sales period and reaffirmed its outlook for the fourth quarter ended January, 2014.

"Customers responded well to the company's offerings this holiday shopping season, both in store and online," J.C. Penney said in its statement.

The clipped release, while not saying much, spoke volumes on concerns of whether a turnaround is taking place. 

In pre-market trading Thursday, the retailer is gaining ground, gaining 3.7% to $7.64.

TheStreet Ratings team rates PENNEY (J C) CO as a Sell with a ratings score of D. The 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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