JPMorgan, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs all lowered their price targets on J.C. Penney Co. Inc. stock, and the retailer's shares suffered their steepest decline since the 1987 stock market crash after it reported weak first quarter results.
Penney shares were down $5, or 15 percent, to $28.32 in morning trading on Tuesday. They fell as low as $28.06.
Penney is in the process of a multi-year turnaround, revamping everything from its pricing strategy to remodeling its stores. The retailer said sales at stores open at least a year fell 18.9 percent in the first quarter, and reported a loss, missing Wall Street estimates on both counts by a wide margin.
J.P. Morgan cut its price target on Penney's shares to $40 from $49, Goldman cuts its target to $31 from $35, and Citi lowered its target to $40 from $50.
In February, the retailer began to eliminate hundreds of sales events in favor of "everyday low" prices on most items, a radical departure that analysts predicted would confuse or alienate its customers.
The next phase of the transformation will come to shoppers in August when the first of the 100 boutiques each store will house are unveiled. At Tuesday's analyst meeting, Penney announced deals with designers like Vivienne Tam, Betsey Johnson and Michael Graves.
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