Ascena Retail Group Inc.
shares are down 21% in Tuesday trading after the apparel company said “fashion missteps” derailed its first-quarter earnings. Ascena’s portfolio of brands includes Ann Taylor, Maurices and Dressbarn. “We were unable to capitalize on the improving macro traffic trends due to fashion missteps that we cannot afford in today’s environment,” said Chief Executive David Jaffe on the earnings call, according to a FactSet transcript. Still, KeyBanc Capital Markets analysts led by Edward Yruma are optimistic. “Management is showing a sense of urgency regarding execution and sequentially improving traffic could provide a more favorable backdrop,” analysts wrote in a note. Analysts highlight cost reduction opportunities and internal restructuring. “We maintain that intense focus on cost savings is prudent in a difficult environment,” the note said. Ascena shares are down more than 71% for the past year while the S&P 500 index
is up 20.1% for the period.