Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA)’s share price shot up 5.1% during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $2.16 and last traded at $2.08. 3,067,539 shares traded hands during trading, an increase of 16% from the average session volume of 2,654,770 shares. The stock had previously closed at $1.98.

Several research firms have issued reports on ASNA. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $5.00 target price on shares of Ascena Retail Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, May 13th. BidaskClub cut shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 23rd. Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $2.00 target price (down previously from $6.00) on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research note on Sunday, June 11th. FBR & Co set a $3.00 target price on shares of Ascena Retail Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 15th. Finally, ValuEngine cut shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nine have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $3.83.

The firm has a 50-day moving average of $2.18 and a 200 day moving average of $2.95. The firm’s market cap is $399.15 million.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last released its earnings results on Thursday, June 8th. The specialty retailer reported $0.05 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.05. Ascena Retail Group had a negative return on equity of 307.11% and a negative net margin of 65.86%. The firm had revenue of $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.54 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.15 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 6.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Ascena Retail Group Inc will post $0.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Bank of Montreal Can lifted its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 6,135.7% during the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 91,415 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $390,000 after purchasing an additional 89,949 shares during the period. Peak Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Ascena Retail Group in the second quarter valued at approximately $108,000. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in Ascena Retail Group in the first quarter valued at approximately $181,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its holdings in Ascena Retail Group by 3.7% in the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,313,003 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $5,594,000 after acquiring an additional 46,978 shares during the period. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Ascena Retail Group by 3.9% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 305,091 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $1,300,000 after acquiring an additional 11,432 shares during the period. 95.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Ascena Retail Group

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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