Shares of Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASNA) fell 6.3% during trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $2.23 and last traded at $2.23. 2,494,147 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 1% from the average session volume of 2,472,670 shares. The stock had previously closed at $2.38.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on ASNA shares. Royal Bank Of Canada reduced their price objective on shares of Ascena Retail Group from $5.00 to $2.50 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday. FBR & Co set a $3.00 price objective on shares of Ascena Retail Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $2.00 price objective (down from $6.00) on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research note on Sunday, June 11th. BidaskClub raised shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, September 18th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have assigned a hold rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $3.42.

The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $2.13 and its 200 day moving average price is $2.62. The firm’s market cap is $439.66 million.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, September 25th. The specialty retailer reported $0.05 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.03) by $0.08. Ascena Retail Group had a negative net margin of 16.05% and a positive return on equity of 3.13%. The company had revenue of $1.66 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.57 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.08 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Ascena Retail Group, Inc. will post $0.17 EPS for the current year.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 143,707 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $309,000 after purchasing an additional 7,435 shares during the last quarter. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 170.6% in the 2nd quarter. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd now owns 98,515 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $212,000 after purchasing an additional 62,110 shares during the last quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 90.8% in the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 607,614 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $1,307,000 after purchasing an additional 289,190 shares during the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 140.5% in the 2nd quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 172,852 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $372,000 after purchasing an additional 100,968 shares during the last quarter. Finally, OxFORD Asset Management LLP boosted its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 117.2% in the 2nd quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 1,182,120 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $2,542,000 after purchasing an additional 637,840 shares during the last quarter. 95.59% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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