Ascena Retail Group Earnings Preview

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Investors never know what to expect for Ascena Retail Group (NAS: ASNA) , as it has wavered between topping and missing analysts estimates during the past fiscal year. The company will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday. The Dress Barn operates women's and girls' apparel specialty stores, principally under the names Dressbarn, Maurices, and Justice.

What analysts say:

  • Buy, sell, or hold?: Analysts strongly back Ascena Retail Group, with seven of 11 rating it a buy and the remainder rating it a hold. Analysts like Ascena Retail Group better than competitor Chico's FAS overall. While analysts still rate the stock a moderate buy, they are a little more optimistic about it compared to three months ago.
  • Revenue forecasts: On average, analysts predict $762.6 million in revenue this quarter. That would represent a rise of 6.9% from the year-ago quarter.
  • Wall Street earnings expectations: The average analyst estimate is earnings of $0.64 per share. Estimates range from $0.63 to $0.66.

What our community says:
CAPS All-Stars are solidly backing the stock with 94.4% giving it an outperform rating. The community at large concurs with the All-Stars with 88.8% granting it a rating of outperform. Fools are bullish on Ascena Retail Group and haven't been shy with their opinions lately, logging 107 posts in the past 30 days. Though still bullish, the CAPS rating of four out of five stars for Ascena Retail Group is a bit more pessimistic than the community assessment.

Management:
Ascena Retail Group's profit has risen year over year by an average of 48.1% over the past five quarters. Revenue has now gone up for three straight quarters.

Now let's look at how efficient management is at running the business. Traditionally, margins represent the efficiency with which companies capture portions of sales dollars. The following table shows gross, operating, and net margins over the past four quarters.

Quarter

Q4

Q3

Q2

Q1

Gross Margin

40.6%

44.4%

41.0%

43.1%

Operating Margin

7.5%

12.0%

9.5%

10.9%

Net Margin

3.9%

7.2%

5.7%

6.7%

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Earnings estimates provided by Zacks

At the time this article was published

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