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Ascena Retail Shares Down On Weak Q3 Sales

Shares of Ascena Retail Group Inc. (ASNA) slipped 6% in extended trading session on Monday after the retailer's third-quarter revenues fell short of Wall Street estimates.

Ascena's third-quarter loss widened to $237.9 million or $1.20 per share from $40.2 million or $0.20 per share last year. Adjusted loss for the quarter was $0.26 per share, wider than last year's $0.08 per share.

Third-quarter sales dropped to $1.266 billion from $1.267 billion last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimate loss of $0.37 per share and revenues of $1.43 billion for the quarter.

Carrie Teffner, Interim Executive Chair, said "The Board and Management have been working together to transform the Company and return ascena to profitable and sustainable top-line growth. Our focus has been, and will be, on creating value for our investors."

Last month, Ascena announced that it is winding down operations of Dressbarn, the women's clothing chain, and closing all 650 of its stores across the US.

Comparable sales for the quarter were flat, with Ann Taylor and LOFT comps up 5%, Lane Bryant down 2%, Catherines down 6% and Justice down 5%.

Gross margin decreased to 57.1% of sales from 59.5% of sales a year ago.

Moving ahead, Ascena expects fourth-quarter sales of $1.175 billion to $1.215 billion. Analysts currently estimate sales of $1.66 billion for the quarter.

ASNA closed Monday's trading at $1.04, down $0.03 or 2.8037%, on the Nasdaq. The stock further slipped $0.06 or 5.77% in the after-hours trading.

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