By  on January 30, 2014

Investors continued to back away from shares of J.C. Penney Co. Inc. Thursday, sending them to a new 52-week low on heavy volume.

Shares closed down 52 cents, or 8.3 percent, at $5.77 after reaching their nadir for the past year, $5.69, in the final hour of trading. Volume was over 55.8 million shares, more than 75 percent above average for the last 90 days. Shares have lost 36.9 percent of their value since the end of 2013, and 21.7 percent since the company issued a statement on Jan. 8 saying it was “pleased” with its holiday performance without providing specific numbers. Even since disclosing plans on Jan. 15 to close 33 underperforming stores, at a cost of 2,000 jobs, shares have contracted 17.7 percent.

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