viewAscena Retail Group Inc

Ascena Retail Group shares jump after beating Wall Street's fiscal 4Q revenue and profit expectations

Comparable sales were up 7% at LOFT and 1% at Ann Taylor; together the two premium women’s fashion brands posted quarterly net sales of $620.4m

Investors welcomed the results and sent Ascena shares up more than 9% in after-hours trade

Shares of Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) soared in Tuesday's pre-market session after the parent company of Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lane Bryant beat Wall Street’s expectations on revenue and profit for its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, fueled by booming sales at LOFT.

For its fiscal fourth-quarter, the Mahwah, New Jersey-based company reported adjusted earnings of $0.07 per share on revenue of $1.77 billion, which whizzed past the consensus estimate of $0.03 on revenue of $1.62 billion.

The retailer’s fiscal fourth quarter performance was also much improved from the year-ago period as its net income came in at $33.2 million, or $0.17 per share, compared with losses of $15.8 million or $0.08 in the year-ago period.

Comparable sales were up 7% at LOFT and 1% at Ann Taylor and together the two premium women’s fashion brands posted net sales of $620.4 million. Lane Bryant’s same-store sales were 2% higher and its revenue came in at $294.5 million. The lone negative performance was a 5% fall in same-store sales at Dressbarn, which still produced revenue of $239.1 million in the quarter.

“Our fourth quarter reflected sequential comparable improvement across all our brands, and the first enterprise-level positive comparable quarter for Ascena since the second quarter of fiscal 2015,” noted CEO Dave Jaffe in a statement.

Investors welcomed the results and sent Ascena shares up 9.7% to $4.40 in Monday’s after-hours session and another 10% to $4.78 before Tuesday's opening bell.

For the fiscal first quarter, the company expects its non-GAAP results to range from a loss of $0.04 per share to earnings of $0.06 per share on revenue of $1.54 billion to $1.56 billion. Ascena also expects full-year revenue to fall in the range of $6.45 billion to $6.55 billion.

Ascena closed a net 185 stores during fiscal 2018 as part of its efforts to streamline its operations.

For the year, the company said its loss narrowed to $39.7 million or $0.20 per share. Revenue came in at $6.58 billion.

Quick facts: Ascena Retail Group Inc

Price: 0.91 USD

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $9.09 m

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