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Why Ascena Retail Group, Inc. Stock Fell Today

By Daniel Sparks - Mar 2, 2016 at 1:04PM

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Here are the metrics from Ascena's earnings report that may have sparked a sell-off.

Image source: Dressbarn.

What: Shares of Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), owner of women's retail brands including Ann Taylor, Loft, Dressbarn, Justice, and Maurices, fell as much as 13% on Wednesday, but are currently down about 7%. The stock's pullback follows the company's second-quarter earnings release, which included worse-than-expected revenue and guidance.

So what: Ascena reported revenue and adjusted EPS of $1.84 billion and $0.01, respectively. Analysts, on average, were expecting the company to report revenue and EPS of $188 billion and a $0.01 loss.

Comparable-store sales were down 6% overall, with Justice comparable store sales playing a key role in the key metric's decline. Justice comparable store sales were down 17% during the period.

For the current quarter, analysts were expecting adjusted EPS of about $0.19. But the company said in its second-quarter press release that it expected third-quarter adjusted EPS in the range of $0.10 to $0.14.

Now what: Management appeared upbeat about Ascena's business and its potential.

CEO David Jaffe is pleased with both the company's continued integration of Ann, which it acquired last year, and its progress on its Justice turnaround.

Jaffe noted it will "remain disciplined" in inventory management and will "continue to navigate the dynamic consumer landscape."

Notably, while its guidance for third-quarter EPS was lower than anticipated, the company maintained its outlook for full-year EPS of $0.75 to $0.80, anticipating $0.28 in adjusted EPS during Q4.

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