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S&P Cuts J.C. Penney Rating One Notch

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its junk-level ratings on J.C. Penney & Co. (JCP) for the second time in two months, pointing to the department-store operator's continued weak performance and expectations it will see further operational disruptions. S&P cut Penney's rating one notch to B-plus, four levels into junk territory, from double-B-minus. The firm removed all ratings from watch for a downgrade. The outlook is negative, reflecting expectations that Penney's new pricing and merchandise strategy will cause further disruptions to the company's operations over the next several quarters. Based on the current environment, further performance difficulties at Penney may result in the loss of market share to other competitors, such as Macy's Inc. (M), Kohl's Corp. (KSS), Dillard's Inc. (DDS) or other department stores or specialty retailers, said S&P analyst David Kuntz. The firm said it will take at least another few quarters for its new marketing message to stimulate customer traffic and for new merchandising strategies to have positive effects on performance. Until then, Penney's operations and credit protection measures are likely to deteriorate, S&P said. The downgrade comes a day after Penney said it will cut an additional 350 jobs at its headquarters, in what the retailer called the final phase of its home-office restructuring efforts. The company is in the middle of a vast transformation led by Chief Executive Ron Johnson. Penney swung to a $163 million loss in the first quarter, leading the chain to eliminate its dividend and raising questions about Mr. Johnson's strategy of cutting discounts in favor of generally lower prices. Shares were off 1.9% to $20.37 in recent trading. The stock has slumped 41% over the past three months. Write to Nathalie Tadena at nathalie.tadena@dowjones.com

Stock News for Jc Penney (JCP)
DateTimeHeadline
07/29/201509:40:00Technical Scrutiny on Department Stores Stocks -- J. C. Penney...
07/28/201516:33:44Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
07/28/201516:32:49Initial Statement of Beneficial Ownership (3)
07/21/201517:08:55Current Report Filing (8-k)
07/21/201517:00:26MANDY GINSBERG TO JOIN JCPENNEY BOARD OF DIRECTORS
07/21/201508:30:00JCPENNEY RINGS IN THE SCHOOL YEAR WITH TREND-BENDING STYLES TO...
07/15/201519:26:09Activist Knocks on Macy's Door--3rd Update
07/15/201516:42:29Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
07/14/201519:20:02Can Marvin Ellison Save J.C. Penney?
07/07/201509:45:02Why J.C. Penney Jumped 32% in the First Half of 2015
06/30/201516:36:19Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
06/26/201516:29:58Annual Report of Employee Stock Plans (11-k)
06/23/201512:37:183 Reasons J.C. Penney Company Stock Could Rise
06/18/201509:02:20JCPENNEY PRESIDENT & CEO-DESIGNEE MARVIN ELLISON TO PRESENT AT...
06/18/201509:00:02Stability Will Be Key for New J.C. Penney CEO Marvin Ellison
06/16/201515:10:03The Retail Trick That Has J.C. Penney Company, Inc. in Hot Water
06/15/201516:58:20Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
06/12/201516:21:20Statement of Changes in Beneficial Ownership (4)
06/12/201516:19:36Initial Statement of Beneficial Ownership (3)
06/12/201516:05:17J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Grants Previously Disclosed Equity...

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