Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ASNA) shares shot up 3.8% during mid-day trading on Monday . The company traded as high as $7.92 and last traded at $7.91, with a volume of 556,252 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $7.62.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on ASNA. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. restated a “buy” rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research note on Wednesday, June 1st. Telsey Advisory Group restated a “market perform” rating and set a $10.00 price target (down previously from $11.00) on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research note on Wednesday, June 1st. Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $8.00 price target (down previously from $10.00) on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research note on Wednesday, June 1st. Finally, FBR & Co restated an “outperform” rating and set a $15.00 price target (down previously from $18.00) on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research note on Wednesday, June 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Ascena Retail Group currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $13.73.

The stock’s market cap is $1.52 billion. The company’s 50 day moving average is $7.18 and its 200-day moving average is $8.41.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, May 31st. The company reported $0.15 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.13 by $0.02. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.18 EPS. The firm earned $1.67 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.74 billion. The firm’s revenue was down 4.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Ascena Retail Group Inc. will post $0.69 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CFO Robert Giammatteo purchased 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 2nd. The stock was bought at an average price of $7.18 per share, for a total transaction of $35,900.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the chief financial officer now directly owns 14,678 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $105,388.04. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ASNA. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 21.3% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 4,219,523 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,562,000 after buying an additional 741,448 shares in the last quarter. Boston Partners increased its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 23.9% in the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 3,042,151 shares of the company’s stock valued at $29,965,000 after buying an additional 587,417 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 1,926.3% in the fourth quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 219,467 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,161,000 after buying an additional 208,636 shares in the last quarter. Russell Frank Co increased its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 311.9% in the fourth quarter. Russell Frank Co now owns 136,950 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,398,000 after buying an additional 103,698 shares in the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System increased its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 11.8% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 691,807 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,814,000 after buying an additional 72,900 shares in the last quarter.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc is a specialty retailer, which offers clothing, shoes and accessories for missy and plus-size women. The Company offers its products under the Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant, maurices, dressbarn, Catherines and Justice brands. It operates through six segments: ANN, Justice, Lane Bryant, maurices, dressbarn and Catherines.

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