Ascena Retail (ASNA) Drops Following 2013 EPS Guidance
(By Balachander) Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ:ASNA) shares retreated 1.48 percent in premarket trading on Wednesday after the clothing chain guided 2013 earnings below market expectations and posted lower quarterly net income.
On an adjusted basis, fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations were 31 cents a share with acquisition of Charming Shoppes Inc. (NASDAQ:CHRS) contributing 24 cents to the results.
On a reported basis, earnings from continuing operations fell 60 percent to $11.2 million from $28.2 million in the fourth quarter of last year.
Sales jumped 29 percent to $939.7 million and comparable store sales rose 2 percent. Adjusted net sales grew 8 percent spurred by strong growth in sales from new stores and e-commerce, the company said.
Ascena operates the dressbarn, maurices, and Justice brands. In May, the company agreed to acquire rival Charming Shoppes for $7.35 per share, or around $890 million in cash.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expected earnings of 29 cents per share on sales of $779.7 million for the three months ended July.
Gross margin on an adjusted basis expanded 30 basis points to 55.4 percent.
Looking ahead for the full year ending July 2013, the company expects adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations in the range of $1.45 to $1.55, while analysts expect $1.56.
ASNA shares ended Tuesday's regular trading session at $21.01. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $12.00 and $22.62.