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Analyst lowers Kohl's rating and price target

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Deutsche Bank analyst said Friday that slowing traffic and heavy inventory could prompt Kohl's to implement some promotions and bigger-than-expected markdowns, which would pressure margins.

Analyst Paul Trussell lowered his rating for Kohl's Corp. to "Sell" from "Hold." He said in a client note that some of the chain's exclusive merchandise is starting to lose its appeal and promotions and markdowns may be needed to draw shoppers.

Trussell said that Kohl's continues to lose share to off-price retailers like TJX Cos. and Ross Stores Inc., and J.C. Penney Co. is also a threat because of its return to promotional marketing. Colder temperatures also hurt the retailer's first-quarter sales, he added.

Trussell trimmed Kohl's price target to $41 from $42.

This is the second downgrade for the chain this week. On Tuesday Morgan Stanley's Kimberly Greenberger cut Kohl's to "Underweight" from "Equal-weight."

The Menomonee Falls, Wis., company's stock fell 24 cents to $46.19 in afternoon trading.