Zacks Investment Research Lowers Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (ASNA) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASNA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ascena Retail Group, Inc, formerly known as The Dress Barn, Inc., operates as a national specialty retailer of apparel for women and girls under the Dressbarn, Maurices and Justice brands. Its Dressbarn stores offer casual, career and special occasion fashion apparel and accessories; Maurices stores offer casual and career apparel and accessories; and Justice stores offer trend-right apparel and accessories. Ascena Retail Group, Inc. is based in Suffern, New York. “

Several other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $3.00 target price on Ascena Retail Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, October 7th. BidaskClub lowered Ascena Retail Group from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Finally, FBR & Co set a $3.00 target price on Ascena Retail Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $3.50.

Shares of Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) remained flat at $1.86 during midday trading on Tuesday. The stock had a trading volume of 1,911,750 shares. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $2.14 and a 200 day moving average of $2.56. The stock’s market capitalization is $357.10 million. Ascena Retail Group has a 12-month low of $1.65 and a 12-month high of $8.19.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last issued its earnings results on Monday, September 25th. The specialty retailer reported $0.05 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of ($0.03) by $0.08. Ascena Retail Group had a positive return on equity of 3.13% and a negative net margin of 16.05%. The business had revenue of $1.66 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.57 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.08 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Ascena Retail Group will post $0.17 earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Arizona State Retirement System grew its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 1.3% during the 1st quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 88,300 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $376,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund grew its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 123,823 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $266,000 after buying an additional 1,145 shares during the last quarter. M&T Bank Corp grew its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 78,184 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $168,000 after buying an additional 1,739 shares during the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC grew its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 7.0% during the 1st quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 39,622 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $169,000 after buying an additional 2,595 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 2.8% during the 1st quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 117,550 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $501,000 after buying an additional 3,217 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 95.59% of the company’s stock.

About Ascena Retail Group

Ascena Retail Group, Inc is a specialty retailer of apparel for women and tween girls. The Company operates through six segments: ANN, Justice, Lane Bryant, maurices, dressbarn and Catherines. The ANN segment offers feminine classics and fashion choices, sold primarily under the Ann Taylor and LOFT brands.

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