Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ASNA) hit a new 52-week low during mid-day trading on Wednesday after Zacks Investment Research downgraded the stock from a hold rating to a strong sell rating. The company traded as low as $5.33 and last traded at $5.40, with a volume of 8,717,120 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $5.69.

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. RBC Capital Markets cut Ascena Retail Group from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $7.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. cut Ascena Retail Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Citigroup Inc. reduced their target price on Ascena Retail Group from $8.00 to $7.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday. FBR & Co cut Ascena Retail Group from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $15.00 to $7.00 in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada cut Ascena Retail Group from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $12.00 to $7.00 in a research note on Tuesday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $11.58.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. raised its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 70.1% in the first quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors L.L.C. now owns 43,908 shares of the company’s stock worth $486,000 after buying an additional 18,100 shares in the last quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. raised its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 50.8% in the first quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 132,117 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,461,000 after buying an additional 44,521 shares in the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 15.9% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,938,121 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,436,000 after buying an additional 265,229 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 367.0% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 1,052,085 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,636,000 after buying an additional 826,800 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Ascena Retail Group by 12.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 73,665 shares of the company’s stock worth $815,000 after buying an additional 7,931 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 94.47% of the company’s stock.

The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $7.90 and a 200-day moving average price of $8.29. The stock’s market capitalization is $1.07 billion.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, September 19th. The company reported $0.08 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.16 by $0.08. The company earned $1.81 billion during the quarter. Ascena Retail Group had a positive return on equity of 6.20% and a negative net margin of 0.17%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 54.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.06 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Ascena Retail Group Inc. will post $0.63 EPS for the current year.

About Ascena Retail Group

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:ASNA

Receive News & Ratings for Ascena Retail Group Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Ascena Retail Group Inc. and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.