Ascena Retail Group Inc (ASNA) Sees Large Increase in Short Interest

Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest in the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 41,916,299 shares, an increase of 1.9% from the December 15th total of 41,137,769 shares. Currently, 27.2% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,121,514 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 19.8 days.

In other Ascena Retail Group news, Director Krill Katherine Lawther sold 19,400 shares of Ascena Retail Group stock in a transaction on Friday, December 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $2.33, for a total value of $45,202.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 108,957 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $253,869.81. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 8.02% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Boothbay Fund Management LLC acquired a new stake in Ascena Retail Group in the third quarter worth about $133,000. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC lifted its holdings in Ascena Retail Group by 47.8% in the second quarter. Virtu KCG Holdings LLC now owns 67,465 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $145,000 after purchasing an additional 21,823 shares during the period. M&T Bank Corp lifted its holdings in Ascena Retail Group by 2.3% in the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 78,184 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $168,000 after purchasing an additional 1,739 shares during the period. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in Ascena Retail Group in the third quarter worth about $172,000. Finally, Stevens Capital Management LP lifted its holdings in Ascena Retail Group by 230.3% in the third quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP now owns 76,907 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $188,000 after purchasing an additional 53,622 shares during the period. 94.92% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. B. Riley reduced their price target on shares of Ascena Retail Group from $3.00 to $2.50 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, December 5th. BidaskClub raised shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their price target on shares of Ascena Retail Group from $5.00 to $2.50 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 6th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 10th. Finally, KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a report on Thursday, November 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and ten have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $2.75.

Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) opened at $2.11 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $413.64, a price-to-earnings ratio of -0.38 and a beta of 1.96. Ascena Retail Group has a 1-year low of $1.65 and a 1-year high of $5.94. The company has a current ratio of 1.36, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, December 4th. The specialty retailer reported $0.11 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.11. The business had revenue of $1.59 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.58 billion. Ascena Retail Group had a negative net margin of 16.39% and a positive return on equity of 2.50%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.18 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Ascena Retail Group will post 0.15 EPS for the current year.

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Ascena Retail Group Company Profile

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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