Ascena Retail Group Inc. stock has jumped over 10 percent in the past two days as investors learn that hedge funds have been picking up shares of the retailer.
Stadium Capital Management recently filed its portfolio update with the Securities and Exchange Commission, known as a 13-F filing, that said the private financial firm had increased its stake in Ascena as of June 30. Stadium went from 12,345,927 shares to 14,627,020 shares for a portfolio value of $102 million.
Stadium now owns 7.63 percent of Ascena’s outstanding shares, placing it third behind BlackRock Inc.’s 7.88 percent and Golden Gate Capital’s 9.11 percent. Stadium also added 596,465 shares of The Buckle Inc. and 1,312,738 shares of Express Inc. Stadium did not want to comment on their portfolio moves.
A review of the institutional ownership of Ascena from March to June on Capital IQ shows that 101 money managers increased their positions in the company’s stock versus 78 that decreased their positions and 30 that sold out altogether.
Coliseum Capital Management increased its Ascena holdings from 1,461,828 shares at the end of March to 1,565,716 at the end of June. The position is valued at $46 million and represents 2.93 percent of the shares outstanding.
Metropolitan West Capital Management increased its position from 4,787,755 in March to 6,139,150 in June and now has 3.2 percent of the outstanding stock valued at $51 million.
Davidson Kempner Capital Management also increased its shares from 512,000 at the end of March to 2,175,000 at the end of June for an increase of 324 percent. The position is valued at $18 million and is 1.13 percent of the total shares outstanding.
Michael R. Murphy of the Discovery Group Holding Co. filed its 13-F on Aug. 12 that showed it had increased its shares to 1,840,020 from 871,474 shares. The position is valued at roughly $12 million and represents 0.96 percent of the total shares outstanding.
McClain Value Management now owns 659,337 share of Ascena, an increase of 282,066 shares from last quarter. The position is worth $4.6 million. McClain’s investment philosophy is to pick out-of-favor stocks that either have quality underlying assets or are under going change.
Greenwood Investments now owns 969,073 shares of Ascena, up from last quarter’s 894,573 shares. The position is valued at $6.7 million. Greenwood has more than $275 million in assets under management as of March 2014.
Susquehanna International Group picked up another 393,300 shares and its current Ascena holding is valued at $5 million. J. Goldman & Co. also increased its holdings by 180,777 shares and now owns 1,240,777 shares valued at approximately $8.6 million.
Ascena reports its earnings on Sept. 16. Analysts are estimating that the retailer will report earnings 17 cents per share and deliver sales of $1.7 billion.