Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) Trading Down 19.5% on Analyst Downgrade

Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA) was down 19.5% during mid-day trading on Wednesday after Zacks Investment Research downgraded the stock from a hold rating to a sell rating. The stock traded as low as $1.96 and last traded at $2.10. Approximately 13,140,300 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 310% from the average daily volume of 3,205,219 shares. The stock had previously closed at $2.61.

ASNA has been the topic of a number of other reports. BidaskClub raised Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, December 2nd. 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. ValuEngine downgraded Ascena Retail Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. B. Riley reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a report on Thursday, November 16th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $3.36.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ASNA. Sterling Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 1.2% in the third quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 4,865,249 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $11,920,000 after acquiring an additional 55,539 shares during the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System raised its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 41.8% in the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,752,142 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $4,293,000 after acquiring an additional 516,883 shares during the last quarter. Tenzing Global Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group in the third quarter valued at approximately $1,593,000. Boothbay Fund Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group in the third quarter valued at approximately $133,000. Finally, Royce & Associates LP raised its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 50.1% in the third quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 919,468 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $2,253,000 after acquiring an additional 306,950 shares during the last quarter. 95.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24, a quick ratio of 0.52 and a current ratio of 1.36. The company has a market capitalization of $411.68, a P/E ratio of 15.00 and a beta of 1.96.

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

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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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