The first week of January is coming to a close and holiday shopping is over, returns have been finalized, and holiday decorations are coming down. So, how did retail fare during the 2013 holiday season? Well, from J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s recent announcement it’s very hard to discern where exactly the company stands.

J.C. Penney JCP

J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s report stated “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.” The company then “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.” Needless to say analysts are not comfortable with the mysterious holiday update and are recommending SELL JCP.

Wells Fargo analyst, Paul Lejeuz, recommends to look through J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s simple statement to find the truth of the matter and advises SELL JCP. Paul reported, “As we have previously written about (in our December 18 note ‘What If December Disappoints?’), the calendar artificially boosted November comps and we expected a big slowdown in December. Seems like we got it.” While J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) might claim to be pleased with their December sales, Paul points out the reality of a slow holiday season. Paul is ranked number 4 out of 2319 with a +4.9% average return over S&P-500 and a 68% success rate.

Analyst Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital is also not buying J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP)’s hopeful statement and recommends SELL JCP, as well. Brian says he’s “not expecting anything magical” from the company but, “If JC Penney can keep posting double-digit sales gains by the third quarter of 2014 and selling things at 40 and 50% off they could turn profitable by the holiday quarter of 2014.” However, this very slim hope is not persuading Brian to change his recommendation to anything other than SELL. Brian is ranked 143 out of 2319 analysts and has a +4.5% success rate of recommended stocks.

The holidays are a trying time for some, and this year might have been a trying year for JCP. Top analysts are aware of taking a look at the whole situation and are recommending investors SELL J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) in order to stay on top. To continue tracking analyst recommendations about J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), and other stocks, be sure to download TipRanks and start following financial advice you can trust.

Source: TipRanks