Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) to “Strong-Buy”

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $4.25 price target on the specialty retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 22.83% from the company’s previous close.

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 have also recently issued reports on ASNA. BidaskClub cut Ascena Retail Group from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, June 16th. B. Riley lifted their price target on Ascena Retail Group to $3.50 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 5th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a report on Tuesday, June 5th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Ascena Retail Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 2nd. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Ascena Retail Group currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $3.44.

Shares of NASDAQ ASNA traded down $0.19 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $3.46. 1,726,972 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,348,969. The stock has a market cap of $712.26 million, a PE ratio of 15.73 and a beta of 1.75. Ascena Retail Group has a 12 month low of $1.69 and a 12 month high of $4.74. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.91, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 1.28.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 6th. The specialty retailer reported ($0.08) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.09) by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.47 billion. Ascena Retail Group had a negative return on equity of 1.08% and a negative net margin of 1.37%. The business’s revenue was down 3.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.05 earnings per share. analysts predict that Ascena Retail Group will post -0.06 earnings per share for the current year.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC raised its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 28.6% in the first quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 136,858 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $275,000 after buying an additional 30,417 shares during the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas raised its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 298.9% in the fourth quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 49,225 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 36,884 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,489,466 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $3,500,000 after buying an additional 37,880 shares during the last quarter. Jane Street Group LLC raised its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 384.8% in the first quarter. Jane Street Group LLC now owns 55,647 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $112,000 after buying an additional 44,168 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Rhumbline Advisers raised its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 14.1% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 411,370 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $967,000 after buying an additional 50,806 shares during the last quarter. 92.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ascena Retail Group

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 six segments: ANN, Justice, Lane Bryant, maurices, dressbarn, and Catherines. It creates, designs, and develops a range of merchandise, including apparel, accessories, footwear, and intimates; lifestyle products comprising cosmetics and bedroom furnishings; and wear-to-work, sportswear, footwear, and social occasion apparel.

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