Ascena, Shutterfly, Zynga: After-Hours Trading (Update 1)

Updated from 5:11 p.m. ET for latest share prices, additional information on Foot Locker.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Ascena Retail Group ( ASNA) rose in late trades on Thursday after the women's apparel retailer trounced Wall Street's expectations for its second-quarter results and lifted its full-year outlook.

The company, whose brands include dressbarn and Justice, reported earnings of $63.7 million, or 81 cents a share, for the January-ended period on net sales of $862 million, up 15% year-over-year. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for a profit of 67 cents a share on sales of $829.9 million.

For the full year ending in July, Ascena forecast earnings of $2.75 to $2.80 a share, up from a prior projection for a profit of $2.60 to $2.70 a share, citing "better-than-expected quarterly earnings results and favorable early spring sales trends" for the increase.

The stock was last quoted at $42.80, up 10%, on volume of more than 200,000, according to Nasdaq.com. Based on Thursday's regular-session close at $38.95, the shares were up more than 22% in the past year, hitting a 52-week high of $39.28 on Feb. 21.

Ascena attributed its higher sales in the latest quarter to a 6% jump in same-store sales as well as strength in the performance of new stores and its e-commerce operations.

"We are pleased to have continued to see positive acceptance for our merchandise assortments and a generally strong performance in a tough market environment," said David Jaffe, the company's chief executive officer, in a statement, adding later: "With this growth, we are working more efficiently while maintaining an intense focus on both our gross margin and our on-going expense controls. We believe we are well positioned for the spring and summer seasons in each of our concepts."

The sell side was mildly bullish on Ascena ahead of the report with 7 of the 12 analysts covering the stock at either strong buy (4) and buy (3), and the remainder at hold (5). The 12-month median price target sits at $40, so there's likely some sentiment out there that the shares have gotten ahead of themselves with a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 13.1X as of Thursday's close.

Check out TheStreet's quote page for Ascena Retail Group for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.

Shutterfly

Shares of Shutterfly ( SFLY) got a boost in the extended session on news it's looking to acquire Eastman Kodak's online photo services business for $23.8 million.

Kodak has entered bankruptcy protection, and the agreement between the two parties characterizes Shutterfly's offer as the initial "stalking horse" bid for an auction process to be conducted through the bankruptcy court.

"Under the terms of the Agreement, Kodak will seek U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval of sale and auction procedures by late March," Kodak said in a press release. "Under these proposed procedures, other potential buyers may submit alternative bids to Kodak and seek to establish the superiority of their alternative bid. Kodak is targeting completion of the sale process this spring."

Shutterfly shares were last quoted at $31.48, up 17%, on volume of nearly 140,000, according to Nasdaq.com. After closing at $26.91, the stock was up 20% so far in 2012.

Also worth mentioning is Zynga ( ZNGA), which continued to attract buying interest after the bell following a 10% jump in Thursday's regular session.

The online game developer announced Thursday afternoon that it's launching its own online platform to play its titles, a much-anticipated move that should lessen its dependence on Facebook.

"In addition to serving up popular Zynga games, Zynga.com will let players discover and play social games created by third party game developers," the company said in a press release. "These Platform partners will be able to reach new audiences and make their games even more social."

The stock was last quoted at $15.10, up 4.3%, on after-hours volume of nearly 1 million. Buoyed by Facebook's IPO announcement on Feb. 1, Zynga shares are up roughly 40% in 2012.

Check out TheStreet's quote page for Zynga for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.

Foot Locker ( FL) was also active after the sneaker and sports apparel retailer reported a better-than-expected profit for its fiscal fourth quarter, beating the consensus view by 4 cents with non-GAAP earnings of $84 million, or 55 cents a share.

Revenue, however, came in at $1.50 billion, basically in line with the average analysts' estimate of $1.49 billion.

The stock was last quoted at $28.90, down 2.1%, on volume of less than 200,000, according to Nasdaq.com. The shares hit a 52-week high of $29.52 in Thursday's regular session ahead of the report.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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