NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) continued to decline 5.2% to $10.21 on Friday after Credit Suisse (CS) said Thursday the department store chain could face some difficulties in the near future.
"We acknowledge clear progress to date, but we remain very cautious on these shares," the firm wrote in a research note. "Things have changed in the department store industry since J.C. Penney achieved peak sales (in '06) and margins (in '09). The consolidation of the industry and the advent of the importance of FAB to the merchandise mix are two the issues that were not present in '06 that will now weigh on results for J.C. Penney."
Separately, 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 some concerns, 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 generally high debt management risk and generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.09 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.
- JCP has underperformed the S&P 500 Index, declining 20.49% from its price level of one year ago. The fact that the stock is now selling for less than others in its industry in relation to its current earnings is not reason enough to justify a buy rating at this time.
- The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. Compared to other companies in the Multiline Retail industry and the overall market, PENNEY (J C) CO's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
- PENNEY (J C) CO reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, PENNEY (J C) CO reported poor results of -$6.07 versus -$4.49 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings (-$2.47 versus -$6.07).
- 36.01% is the gross profit margin for PENNEY (J C) CO which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -6.14% trails the industry average.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: JCP Ratings Report