J.C. Penny Co. was hit with a downgrade at Credit Suisse as the retailer’s sales continue to slow.
Analyst Michael Exstein lowered his rating to underperform from neutral and cut his target price to US$15 from US$25 after the company reported its fifth straight quarterly loss on Friday.
Mr. Exstein noted that J.C. Penny’s cash position continues to dwindle and it is expected to generate only a minimal amount of EBITDA in 2012 and 2013. The company has already sold US$525-million in non-core assets this year.
“Time is no longer on J.C. Penny’s side, and going into the fourth quarter and beyond, we are concerned that J.C. Penny’s technological overhaul of both its back and front end systems could serve to create an even more challenging internal environment than is the case today,” the analyst told clients.
“J.C. Penny must find a way to significantly slow the sales decline within the next six months, and if it doesn’t, management’s attempt to ‘bet the company’ could become more problematic,” he added.