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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
January 2, 2013
05:41 EDTASNAAscena Retail downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Citigroup downgraded Ascena Retail citing near-term sales trends concerns and lowered its price target for shares to $20 from $25.
News For ASNA From The Last 14 Days
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September 29, 2014
10:30 EDTASNAHigh option volume stocks
High option volume stocks: RGEN ALIM TIBX MYCC RDWR ATHL DWA ASNA PSDV BGC
September 24, 2014
09:59 EDTASNAOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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September 23, 2014
19:36 EDTASNAAscena Retail downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
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16:20 EDTASNAOn The Fly: Closing Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were lower after the U.S. took new action to clamp down on tax inversion deals and led airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria, while Europe reported weaker than expected manufacturing data. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the FHFA's home price index rose 0.1% in July to 212.7, missing expectations for an increase of 0.5%. Markit's preliminary manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for September came in at 57.9, slightly below the consensus forecast for a 58.0 reading. In China, HSBC's flash manufacturing PMI rose to 50.5 from a final reading of 50.2 in August, better than expectations. In Europe, Markit's composite flash PMI for the eurozone dipped to a nine-month low of 52.3, missing expectations for it to hold steady with its 52.5 reading for August. COMPANY NEWS: The shares of a number of companies that have announced or been speculated as targets in tax inversion deals fell after the U.S. Treasury last night issued new regulations that will make such deals less attractive. AstraZeneca (AZN), which has previously turned down an offer to be acquired by the U.S.'s Pfizer (PFE), sank $3.54, or 4.74%, to $71.13 despite a Bloomberg report that said Pfizer is still considering pursuing a deal with the U.K. drugmaker. AbbVie (ABBV), which has a deal in progress to acquire Shire (SHPG) and thus move its tax domicile to Ireland, fell $1.15, or 1.96%, to $57.56, while Shire shares slid $5.56, or 2.17%, to $250.74. Medtronic (MDT), which is pursuing its own inversion deal with Covidien (COV), dropped $1.90, or 2.88%, to $64.08. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Herbalife (HLF), which rose $3.88, or 9.65%, to $44.09, bouncing back from a pullback yesterday that had been attributed to rumors of Carl Icahn selling out of his stake in the company. Also higher was Plug Power (PLUG), which rose 40c, or 9.57%, to $4.58 after the company's CEO gave FY15 revenue guidance that was above the consensus Street view in an interview with the Albany Business Review. Among the noteworthy losers was Ascena Retail (ASNA), which dropped $2.78, or 16.82%, to $13.75 after the apparel retailer's fourth quarter results and fiscal 2015 profit outlook trailed analysts' consensus estimates. Also lower were shares of used car retailer CarMax (KMX), which fell $5.01, or 9.49%, to $47.80 after the company reported sluggish comparable used car sales in its second quarter. INDEXES: The Dow declined 116.81, or 0.68%, to 17,055.87, the Nasdaq dropped 19.00, or 0.42%, to 4,508.69, and the S&P 500 fell 11.52, or 0.58%, to 1,982.77.
12:11 EDTASNAOn The Fly: Midday Wrap
Stocks on Wall Street were mixed and little changed at midday, amid new rules from the Obama administration on tax inversions and manufacturing data from around the globe. ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., the FHFA's home price index rose 0.1% in July to 212.7, missing expectations for a rise of 0.5%. Markit's preliminary manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for September came in at 57.9, slightly below the consensus forecast for a 58.0 reading. The Richmond Fed manufacturing index for September rose to 14, beating expectations for it to have dropped two points to 10. In China, HSBC's flash manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 50.5 from a final reading of 50.2 in August, better than expectations. In Europe, Markit's composite flash PMI for the eurozone dipped to a nine-month low of 52.3, missing expectations for it to hold steady at the 52.5 seen in August. COMPANY NEWS: Shares of several companies, including a number in the pharmaceutical industry, are lower in early trading after the Treasury Department announced new regulations yesterday night that aim to make it tougher for U.S. companies to lower their tax burdens via mergers with foreign companies, otherwise known as "inversions." Among the stocks that moved lower after the new rules were announced was Astrazeneca (AZN), which had previously been a target of Pfizer (PFE) and fell about 4% near midday. Also lower were shares of both Shire (SHPG), which fell 2%, and Abbvie (ABBV), which dropped 1.6%, as the two have previously agreed to merge in a tax inversion deal. Medtronic (MDT) and Covidien (COV), which similarly agreed to an inversion merger, were down 3.3% and 2.7%, respectively. MAJOR MOVERS: Among the notable gainers was Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP), which rose more than 5% after The Wall Street Journal reported that Allergan (AGN) is in advanced talks on a deal to buy the company. Shares of Allergan were also up nearly 3% near midday, as the Journal also reported that Allergan rejected a recent buyout offer from Actavis (ACT). Among the noteworthy losers was Ascena Retail (ASNA), which dropped 16% after the apparel retailer's fourth quarter results and fiscal 2015 profit outlook trailed analysts' consensus estimates. Also lower following its own earnings report was auto retailer CarMax (KMX), which fell over 9%. INDEXES: Near midday, the Dow was down 32.91, or 0.19%, to 17,139.77, the Nasdaq was up 2.90, or 0.06%, to 4,530.59, and the S&P 500 was down 2.29, or 0.11%, to 1,992.00.
11:38 EDTASNAAscena Retail plummets to 52-week low after results, guidance trail consensus
Shares of Ascena Retail (ASNA), a national specialty retailer of apparel for women and teen girls, are falling after the company's fourth quarter results and fiscal 2015 profit outlook trailed analysts' consensus estimates. WHAT'S NEW: Last night, Ascena Retail reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 13c and revenue of $1.18B, far below analysts' consensus estimates of 18c and $1.21B, respectively. Same store sales for the period declined 2%. Looking ahead, Ascena Retail forecast FY15 adjusted EPS of 90c-$1.00 excluding any acquisition-related, integration and restructuring costs that may be incurred during the fiscal year, significantly trailing the consensus of $1.25. The company sees EPS down compared to last year in the first half, but expects growth in the second half. The company sees flat to modest positive total comparable store growth for the year, with Fall flat to down low-single digits, and Spring up low-single digits. EBITA growth for the year is seen in the mid-to-high single digits, with the EBITDA rate flat to up 20 basis points, with 80-100 basis points of improvement in gross margin rate mostly offset by operating expense rate de-leverage. Ascena also sees a net new store increase of 30-40 units, capital expenditures of $350M-$375M and an effective tax rate of 37% vs. 32% in fiscal year 2014. The company sees FY15 double digit growth in depreciation, with projected expenses between $210M-$215M. The company's guidance is based on an ongoing challenging retail environment. WHAT'S NOTABLE: Ascena President and Chief Executive Officer David Jaffe commented that Q4 EPS was "in line" with expectations, despite mixed results across its portfolio and soft traffic patterns. Jaffe said the company is maintaining a conservative outlook for the Fall season, as the company has "yet to see sustained evidence of market improvement." Ascena also said it plans to increasingly focus on adjusted EBITDA as an indicator of underlying financial performance because it normalizes for major changes in non-cash depreciation and tax rates. ANALYST REACTION: This morning, research firm SunTrust lowered its price target on Ascena Retail to $17 from $21 after the company reported results that were weak across the board. The firm believes that the company is making appropriate changes and seems well-positioned for the future, while its brand integrity is intact across divisions. SunTrust reiterated a Buy rating on shares. Another firm, Oppenheimer, said Ascena's retail strategies should help stem margin pressure. The firm added that the profitability of the company's new brands is rising significantly, while its guidance looks conservative. Oppenheimer cut its price target on the shares to $19 from $22, but kept an Outperform rating on the stock. PRICE ACTION: In late morning trading, Ascena Retail fell $2.69, or 16.24%, to $13.85 on nearly four times its average daily trading volume. Earlier in the session, the stock notched a fresh 52-week low of $13.72. Including today's pull-back, the shares have lost approximately 22% over the past 12 months. OTHERS TO WATCH: Other specialty retailers catering to women include Christopher & Banks (CBK), Chico's FAS (CHS), and Ann Inc. (ANN).
09:13 EDTASNAOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
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08:42 EDTASNAAscena Retail strategies should help stem margin pressure, says Oppenheimer
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07:42 EDTASNAAscena Retail price target lowered to $17 from $21 at SunTrust
SunTrust cut its price target on Ascena after the company reported lower than expected Q4 EPS and results that were weak across the board, according to the firm. SunTrust, however, believes that the company is making appropriate changes and seems well-positioned for the future, while its brand integrity is intact across divisions. The firm reiterates a Buy rating on the shares.
September 22, 2014
18:18 EDTASNAOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
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16:36 EDTASNAAscena Retail hits fresh 52-week low after results
In the extended session the shares are down over 15% to $13.99, taking out the previous 52-week low at $15.63. At current price next support is at $13.15. Resistance is at $14.83.
16:32 EDTASNAAscena Retail down 15% following weaker than expected Q4 results, guidance
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16:06 EDTASNAAscena Retail sees FY15 adjusted EPS 90c-$1.00, consensus $1.25
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16:03 EDTASNAAscena Retail reports Q4 adjusted EPS 13c, consensus 18c
Reports Q4 revenue $1.18B, consensus $1.21B. Reports Q4 SSS down 2%.
16:00 EDTASNAAscena Retail trading halted, pending news
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15:05 EDTASNANotable companies reporting after market close
Notable companies reporting after the market close, with earnings consensus, include Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), consensus 18c.

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