Ascena Retail Group Inc (ASNA) Short Interest Up 6.2% in April

Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA) was the target of a significant growth in short interest during the month of April. As of April 15th, there was short interest totalling 57,412,386 shares, a growth of 6.2% from the March 29th total of 54,082,789 shares. Approximately 36.5% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 3,496,445 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 16.4 days.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Texas Permanent School Fund boosted its position in Ascena Retail Group by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 113,696 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $285,000 after buying an additional 5,052 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 0.6% during the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,031,400 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $5,099,000 after purchasing an additional 12,579 shares during the period. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 7.1% during the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 211,929 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $532,000 after purchasing an additional 14,007 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 1.0% during the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,431,568 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $3,594,000 after purchasing an additional 14,464 shares during the period. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company MN lifted its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 13.4% during the third quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 133,345 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $609,000 after purchasing an additional 15,796 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.29% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ:ASNA opened at $1.16 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $218.31 million, a P/E ratio of -58.00 and a beta of 1.35. The company has a current ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.79. Ascena Retail Group has a 1 year low of $0.97 and a 1 year high of $5.28.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 14th. The specialty retailer reported ($0.26) earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.25) by ($0.01). Ascena Retail Group had a negative net margin of 1.11% and a negative return on equity of 5.27%. The company had revenue of $1.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.71 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned ($0.12) EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts predict that Ascena Retail Group will post -0.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of research analysts recently issued reports on ASNA shares. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $3.50 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, January 15th. ValuEngine cut shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Saturday, February 2nd. Citigroup raised shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $1.05 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and five have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $3.26.

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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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