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Bear Stearns Ups JC Penney to Attractive

Bear Stearns raised its investment rating on JC Penney (JCP) to attractive from neutral, noting the department store company will unveil its turnaround strategy for its JC Penney and Eckerd franchises at an analyst meeting on March 2.

Analyst Steven Kernkraut expects CEO Allen Questrom and other unit leaders to discuss their "thoughtful approach" to leveraging mall real estate and their efforts to continue to centralize merchandising, marketing and recruiting. Kernkraut said expectations of the JC Penney organization are so low it is possible for the CEO to orchestrate a viable rebound over the next one to three years.

He set an $18 price target on the stock.

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