Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASNA) was the target of a significant drop in short interest in the month of June. As of June 30th, there was short interest totalling 45,727,929 shares, a drop of 8.7% from the June 15th total of 50,085,936 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 3,600,304 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 12.7 days. Currently, 29.8% of the company’s shares are short sold.

Several research analysts have recently commented on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $5.00 price target on Ascena Retail Group and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, April 3rd. Telsey Advisory Group lowered their price target on Ascena Retail Group from $6.00 to $3.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, May 18th. Cowen and Company restated a “market perform” rating and set a $2.00 price target (down from $6.00) on shares of Ascena Retail Group in a research report on Sunday, June 11th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Ascena Retail Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, June 9th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Ascena Retail Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have assigned a hold rating to the company’s stock. Ascena Retail Group presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $4.50.

Shares of Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) opened at 2.21 on Friday. The firm’s market capitalization is $424.10 million. Ascena Retail Group has a 52 week low of $1.65 and a 52 week high of $9.11. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $2.14 and a 200 day moving average price of $4.16.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 8th. The specialty retailer reported $0.05 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.05. Ascena Retail Group had a negative net margin of 15.25% and a positive return on equity of 2.96%. The firm had revenue of $1.57 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.54 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.15 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 6.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Ascena Retail Group will post $0.12 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Peak Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group during the second quarter valued at approximately $108,000. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd raised its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 196.6% in the first quarter. BlueCrest Capital Management Ltd now owns 36,405 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $155,000 after buying an additional 24,132 shares during the last quarter. Highbridge Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 13,454.5% in the fourth quarter. Highbridge Capital Management LLC now owns 27,109 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $167,000 after buying an additional 26,909 shares during the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Ascena Retail Group by 7.0% in the first quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC now owns 39,622 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $169,000 after buying an additional 2,595 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Ascena Retail Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $181,000. 97.16% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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