Company name Ascena Retail Group Inc
Stock ticker ASNA
Live stock price [stckqut]ASNA[/stckqut]
P/E compared to competitors Good

MANAGEMENT EXECUTION

Employee productivity Poor
Sales growth Good
EPS growth Good
P/E growth Fair
EBIT growth Good

ANALYSIS

Confident Investor Rating Good
Target stock price (TWCA growth scenario) $24.58
Target stock price (averages with growth) $29.89
Target stock price (averages with no growth) $20.69
Target stock price (manual assumptions) $24.23

The following company description is from Google Finance: http://www.google.com/finance?q=asna

Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (Ascena) is a national specialty retailer of apparel for women and tween girls operating, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, the dressbarn, maurices, and Justice brands. As of July 28, 2012, the Company operated over 3,800 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Ascena operates under three brands: dressbarn, maurices and Justice. In January 2011, the Company completed an internal corporate reorganization and established a holding company, Ascena Retail Group, Inc. In June 14, 2012, the Company acquired Charming Shoppes, Inc., an apparel retailer specializing in women's plus-size apparel.

 

Confident Investor comments: At this price and at this time, I think that a Confident Investor can confidently invest in this stock.

If you would like to understand how to evaluate companies like I do on this site, please read my book, The Confident Investor.

I don't try to predict why a stock is going up based on market conditions. That strategy is simply fraught with danger that I try to avoid.

I frequently get emails, comments on my site, or Twitter questions regarding my opinion on a particular news story. The questioner is almost always asking for my opinion on the news' affect on a certain stock.

I strongly urge investors to not worry about such details. I realize that Jim Cramer of Mad Money will often discuss the reaction of a stock to a news item. As a case in point, Mr. Cramer recently tweeted on news of gasoline prices potentially dropping and its influence on the retail segment. Jim is incredibly smart and immensely popular. I enjoy watching his television shows. However, I think that using this information to control your investment is unwise for the individual investor.

As I pointed out in an earlier article, the influence of the news on a particular stock is typically extremely short lived. There was a recent study by an analyst  firm that looked at the help wanted ads for Microsoft [stckqut]MSFT[/stckqut] in order to get an insight into Microsoft's focus for development. I laughed when I saw that story. The recruitment process by a company has nothing to do with the immediate quarterly success of the company. The long-term success of the company obviously depends on its future investments (which I wrote about here) but to try to predict the success of the company based on who they are going to hire in the short-term is giving far too much omniscience to the analysts doing the study.

I honestly do not think that it is necessary to make such deep analysis to be successful. As I teach in my book, The Confident Investor, most of the analysis can be reduced to a 10-year analysis on 4 different metrics combined with a current analysis of two more metrics. This gives you the capability of finding truly exceptional companies. You should grow your investment in those Good Companies using technical trading tools that control your trades.

It is entertaining and educational to listen to Jim Cramer explain how the various macro factors affect a company or an industry. I am sure that he is often correct. However, I don't suggest that the individual investor repeats this effort.

You can purchase my book wherever books are sold such as AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Books A Million. It is available in e-book formats for NookKindle, and iPad.