Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday, December 6th.

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. “

A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on ASNA. FBR & Co set a $3.00 price objective on shares of Ascena Retail Group and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Ascena Retail Group from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price objective on shares of Ascena Retail Group from $5.00 to $2.50 and set a sector perform rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 6th. KeyCorp reiterated a hold rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research report on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, ValuEngine downgraded shares of Ascena Retail Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 7th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Ascena Retail Group currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $2.75.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ ASNA) traded down $0.03 during trading hours on Wednesday, reaching $2.35. 2,128,764 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,980,000. Ascena Retail Group has a one year low of $1.65 and a one year high of $6.61. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a current ratio of 1.36. The stock has a market capitalization of $460.69, a price-to-earnings ratio of -0.43 and a beta of 1.96.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Monday, December 4th. The specialty retailer reported $0.11 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.11. The company had revenue of $1.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.58 billion. Ascena Retail Group had a negative net margin of 16.39% and a positive return on equity of 2.50%. The firm’s revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.18 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Ascena Retail Group will post 0.15 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Krill Katherine Lawther sold 195,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $2.45, for a total transaction of $479,220.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 108,957 shares in the company, valued at approximately $266,944.65. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 8.02% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Sterling Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 1.2% during the 3rd quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 4,865,249 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $11,920,000 after purchasing an additional 55,539 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 41.8% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,752,142 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $4,293,000 after purchasing an additional 516,883 shares during the last quarter. Tenzing Global Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,593,000. Boothbay Fund Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group during the 3rd quarter worth about $133,000. Finally, Royce & Associates LP raised its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 50.1% during the 3rd quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 919,468 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $2,253,000 after purchasing an additional 306,950 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.92% of the company’s stock.

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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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