Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) Downgraded to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

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 equities analysts have also recently weighed in on ASNA. ValuEngine cut Ascena Retail Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, February 2nd. BidaskClub cut Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, November 22nd. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group cut their price target on Ascena Retail Group from $5.00 to $4.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 11th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and four have assigned a hold rating to the company. Ascena Retail Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $3.50.

ASNA stock traded down $0.53 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $1.36. 11,882,120 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,868,593. The stock has a market cap of $400.80 million, a PE ratio of -68.00 and a beta of 1.44. Ascena Retail Group has a fifty-two week low of $1.33 and a fifty-two week high of $5.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.64, a quick ratio of 0.45 and a current ratio of 1.28.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 14th. The specialty retailer reported ($0.26) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.25) by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $1.69 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.71 billion. Ascena Retail Group had a negative return on equity of 1.70% and a negative net margin of 0.61%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.12) earnings per share.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Texas Permanent School Fund grew its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 113,696 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $285,000 after purchasing an additional 5,052 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,031,400 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $5,099,000 after purchasing an additional 12,579 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 7.1% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 211,929 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $532,000 after purchasing an additional 14,007 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,431,568 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $3,594,000 after purchasing an additional 14,464 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 13.4% in the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 133,345 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $609,000 after purchasing an additional 15,796 shares during the period. 99.29% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Ascena Retail Group Company Profile

Ascena Retail Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, operates as a specialty retailer of apparel, shoes, and accessories for women and tween girls in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The company operates through four segments: Premium Fashion, Value Fashion, Plus Fashion, and Kids Fashion. It offers a range of merchandise, including apparel, accessories, footwear, and intimates; and lifestyle products comprising cosmetics and bedroom accessories.

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