Ascena Retail Group (ASNA) Short Interest Up 6.3% in March

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) was the target of a large growth in short interest in March. As of March 29th, there was short interest totalling 40,964,777 shares, a growth of 6.3% from the March 15th total of 38,546,645 shares. Currently, 26.5% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 1,924,448 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 21.3 days.

Shares of NASDAQ:ASNA opened at $2.28 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $443.40, a PE ratio of 10.36 and a beta of 1.74. Ascena Retail Group has a one year low of $1.65 and a one year high of $4.11. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.26, a quick ratio of 0.64 and a current ratio of 1.29.

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Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, March 5th. The specialty retailer reported ($0.12) EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.09) by ($0.03). The company had revenue of $1.72 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.65 billion. Ascena Retail Group had a positive return on equity of 2.02% and a negative net margin of 16.52%. Ascena Retail Group’s quarterly revenue was down 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned ($0.07) EPS. research analysts expect that Ascena Retail Group will post -0.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on ASNA shares. BidaskClub raised shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. B. Riley decreased their price target on shares of Ascena Retail Group from $2.50 to $2.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 6th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, March 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $2.60.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Teacher Retirement System of Texas grew its holdings in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 298.9% during the 4th quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 49,225 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $116,000 after purchasing an additional 36,884 shares during the last quarter. Boothbay Fund Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group during the 3rd quarter valued at $133,000. Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group during the 4th quarter valued at $181,000. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC bought a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group during the 4th quarter valued at $250,000. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. bought a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group during the 3rd quarter valued at $337,000. 91.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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 six segments: ANN, Justice, Lane Bryant, maurices, dressbarn, and Catherines. It creates, designs, and develops a range of merchandise, including apparel, accessories, footwear, and intimates; lifestyle products comprising cosmetics and bedroom furnishings; and wear-to-work, sportswear, footwear, and social occasion apparel.

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