The stock price of J C Penney surged more than 7% to $8.41 per share after receiving positive views from analysts at Piper Jaffray today.

J C Penney Company Inc Stock Surges After Piper Jaffray Raises PT

Analysts’ comments on J C Penney

Piper Jaffray analysts raised their price target for the shares of J C Penney to $14 from $13 per share and maintained their Buy rating for the stock.  They also estimated that the company first quarter comp will increase 3% compared with their previous expectation of 1% growth.

The equity research firm explained that the increase was supported by the company’s vast product initiatives, positive revenue momentum and favorable weather conditions.

In a note to investors, Piper Jaffray analyst Neely Tamminga said they made their assessment about J C Penney after visiting several stores across multiple markets of different brands over the past few weeks.

According to her, they strongly believe that the sales of different products through retail stores including J C Penney look better compared with the comparable store sales outlook provided by the company for the first quarter.

Apple Watch expected to boost mall traffic

The analysts also believe that the launching of Apple Watch in April will boost mall traffic. They added that April will be a depressing month for e-commerce companies in terms of sales due to the shift of “Easter build.”

Piper Jaffray analysts maintained their earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) estimate for JC Penney at approximately $1.2 billion. The equity research firm also predicted that the retailer will meet its expected earnings.

The analysts estimated that JC Penney will deliver losses of $1.52 per share for the fiscal 2016 and $0.74 per share in 2017. They previously expected the company to post losses of $1.58 per share in 2016 and $0.80 per share in 2017.

There are 27 analysts covering the shares of JC Penney. Five equity research firms have a Buy rating for the stock and 11 have Hold recommendations. TheStreet Ratings team rated the stock Sell.The twelve-month consensus price target for the stock is $8.47 per share.

Over the past 52-weeks, the shares of J C Penney traded between $5.90 and $11.30 per share. The company gained more than 29% in stock value year-to-date.

JC Penney Stock Performance YTD
Source: Google Finance

J C Penney faces a whistleblower complaint

Last week, ValueWalk reported that J C Penney is facing a whistleblower complaint from a disgruntled employee, who accused the company of systematically overcharging customers.