Short Interest in Ascena Retail Group Inc (ASNA) Rises By 1.9%

Ascena Retail Group Inc (NASDAQ:ASNA) was the recipient of a large increase in short interest in 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. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,121,514 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 19.8 days. Approximately 27.2% of the shares of the company are sold short.

ASNA has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. BidaskClub upgraded Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, December 2nd. FBR & Co set a $3.00 price objective on Ascena Retail Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a report on Wednesday, October 11th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $3.00 price objective on Ascena Retail Group and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, October 7th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Ascena Retail Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and ten have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $2.75.

In related news, Director Krill Katherine Lawther sold 19,400 shares of Ascena Retail Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $2.33, for a total transaction of $45,202.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 108,957 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $253,869.81. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 8.02% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Rhumbline Advisers boosted its position in Ascena Retail Group by 2.2% during the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 350,149 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $753,000 after purchasing an additional 7,638 shares in the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in Ascena Retail Group by 4.6% during the second quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 613,747 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $1,318,000 after purchasing an additional 26,788 shares in the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 45.7% during the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 109,379 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $235,000 after acquiring an additional 34,295 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 0.4% during the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,317,805 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $2,833,000 after acquiring an additional 4,802 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.92% of the company’s stock.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) opened at $2.11 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.24, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a current ratio of 1.36. The stock has a market capitalization of $415.60, a PE 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 $5.50.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, December 4th. The specialty retailer reported $0.11 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.11. Ascena Retail Group had a positive return on equity of 2.50% and a negative net margin of 16.39%. The business had revenue of $1.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.58 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.18 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 5.3% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Ascena Retail Group will post 0.15 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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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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