Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA)’s share price rose 5.4% on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $2.14 and last traded at $2.13. Approximately 1,532,564 shares traded hands during trading, a decline of 30% from the average daily volume of 2,187,912 shares. The stock had previously closed at $2.02.

ASNA has been the subject of several recent research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. ValuEngine lowered shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 6th. B. Riley reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a report on Thursday, November 16th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and eleven have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $2.75.

The stock has a market cap of $378.36, a price-to-earnings ratio of -0.39 and a beta of 1.93. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24, a current ratio of 1.36 and a quick ratio of 0.55.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, December 4th. The specialty retailer reported $0.11 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.11. The company had revenue of $1.59 billion during 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% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.18 EPS. sell-side analysts predict that Ascena Retail Group Inc will post 0.15 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director Krill Katherine Lawther sold 19,400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $2.33, for a total transaction of $45,202.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 108,957 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $253,869.81. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 8.02% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans grew its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 4.6% during the second quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 101,540 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $218,000 after buying an additional 4,420 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 14.5% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 16,634,350 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $35,763,000 after buying an additional 2,101,044 shares in the last quarter. ICM Asset Management Inc. WA grew its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 73.1% during the third quarter. ICM Asset Management Inc. WA now owns 733,390 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,797,000 after buying an additional 309,590 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 41.8% during the third quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,752,142 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $4,293,000 after buying an additional 516,883 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Voya Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 140.5% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 172,852 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $372,000 after buying an additional 100,968 shares in the last quarter. 95.23% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Ascena Retail Group Company Profile

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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