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Why JC Penney Company is a Good Pick for Your Portfolio

So far 2016 has been an exceptional year for J. C. Penney Company, Inc. JCP. Its shares have surged 47% year to date. Moreover, ever since the company reported better-than-expected earnings in its quarterly numbers on Feb 25, 2016, its shares have gained more than 27%.

Driven by its strategic initiatives, J. C. Penney posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter fiscal 2015 results. Adjusted earnings of 39 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 22 cents, marking the fourth straight quarter of positive surprise.

Also, net sales of $3,996 million came marginally ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,995 million and improved 2.6% year over year. Further, the company’s top line surpassed our estimate for the third consecutive quarter.

Following J. C. Penney’s robust performance, the Zacks Consensus Estimate witnessed an uptrend as analysts raised their estimates. Analysts polled by Zacks are convinced about the stock’s upbeat performance in the future. Over the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2016 has jumped from a loss of 23 cents to a profit of 4 cents. On the other hand, over the same time frame, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for fiscal 2017 has moved up by 3.4% to 60 cents.

J. C. Penney, which sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), continues to work toward improving its omni-channel reach. As online shoppers shop more than average customers, enhancing their experience is the key to building a strong online portal. In the fourth quarter, the company’s digital sales improved on the back of an expanded assortment. To drive more traffic online, the company started testing the buy online, pick up in store same day facility in several markets. The company intends to extend this service to the entire store network.

J. C. Penney has taken up several strategic initiatives to drive traffic. The company, in order to enhance customer shopping experience, has been focusing on remodeling, renovating and refurbishing its stores with special focus on improving the high-margin center core department that houses handbags, fashion accessories, sunglasses and fashion jewelry.

Other Stocks to Consider

Some other favourably ranked stocks in the retail sector are Express Inc. EXPR, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. AEO and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ANF. While Express and American Eagle Outfitters currently sport a Zacks Rank #1, Abercrombie & Fitch holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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ABERCROMBIE (ANF): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
AMER EAGLE OUTF (AEO): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
EXPRESS INC (EXPR): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PENNEY (JC) INC (JCP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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