Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ASNA) shares were up 5.3% during mid-day trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $7.74 and last traded at $7.59, with a volume of 1,227,438 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $7.21.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on ASNA shares. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 2nd. Telsey Advisory Group reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $10.00 target price (down previously from $11.00) on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Cowen and Company reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $8.00 target price (down previously from $10.00) on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Finally, FBR & Co reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $15.00 target price (down previously from $18.00) on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. One equities research 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 has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $13.73.

The stock has a 50 day moving average of $7.48 and a 200-day moving average of $8.22. The stock’s market capitalization is $1.45 billion.

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

In other news, CFO Robert Giammatteo bought 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 2nd. The shares were purchased at an average price of $7.18 per share, for a total transaction of $35,900.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 14,678 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $105,388.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link.

A number of hedge funds have made changes to their positions in ASNA. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake 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 during the last quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 4.9% in the fourth quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 119,507 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,177,000 after buying an additional 5,631 shares during the last quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 51.4% in the fourth quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. now owns 110,453 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,088,000 after buying an additional 37,515 shares during the last quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its stake in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 19.9% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 316,989 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,122,000 after buying an additional 52,506 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised 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 worth $6,814,000 after buying an additional 72,900 shares during 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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