Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has $5.25 price objective on the specialty retailer’s stock.

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. “

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BidaskClub raised Ascena Retail Group from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Tuesday. B. Riley upped their target price on Ascena Retail Group from $3.50 to $4.50 and gave the company a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, August 15th. Finally, Citigroup upped their price target on Ascena Retail Group from $1.50 to $2.00 and gave the company a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 26th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $3.92.

Shares of NASDAQ ASNA opened at $3.63 on Tuesday. Ascena Retail Group has a 12 month low of $1.79 and a 12 month high of $5.28. The firm has a market cap of $838.52 million, a PE ratio of -192.50 and a beta of 1.61. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.66, a current ratio of 1.25 and a quick ratio of 0.55.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last announced its earnings results on Monday, September 24th. The specialty retailer reported $0.07 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.02 by $0.05. Ascena Retail Group had a negative return on equity of 0.59% and a negative net margin of 0.60%. The business had revenue of $1.77 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.62 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.05 earnings per share. Ascena Retail Group’s revenue was up 6.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that Ascena Retail Group will post 0.07 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of ASNA. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Ascena Retail Group by 8.5% during the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,643,839 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $3,305,000 after buying an additional 128,774 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Ascena Retail Group by 0.6% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 22,306,993 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $44,838,000 after buying an additional 127,241 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Ascena Retail Group by 12.9% during the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 15,118,083 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $30,387,000 after buying an additional 1,723,376 shares during the period. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in Ascena Retail Group by 201.0% during the first quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 84,485 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $170,000 after buying an additional 56,415 shares during the period. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC raised its position in Ascena Retail Group by 384.8% during 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 period. 94.95% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Ascena Retail Group Company Profile

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 four segments: Premium Fashion, Value Fashion, Plus Fashion, and Kids Fashion. It offers a range of merchandise, including apparel, accessories, footwear, and intimates; and lifestyle products comprising cosmetics and bedroom accessories.

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