Why Gap Lost Despite an Earnings Beat

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Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday. Its shares took a step back early on Friday, despite the company beating on both the top and bottom lines. What really pulled Gap down was a less than favorable outlook.

The company said that it had $0.60 in earnings per share (EPS) on $3.85 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $0.59 in EPS on revenue of $3.79 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.64 and $3.9 billion in revenue.

In terms of the outlook for the 2016 full year, the company expects to have EPS in the range of $1.87 to $1.92, excluding the negative impact of restructuring costs. The consensus analysts are calling for $1.94 in EPS.

Gap’s comparable sales for the second quarter were down 2%, compared to a 2% decrease last year. The company’s segments reported (compared to the same period from last year):

  • Gap Global posted negative 3% comps, versus negative 6%.
  • Banana Republic Global had negative 9% comps, versus negative 4%.
  • Old Navy comps were flat, versus a gain of 3% from last year.

Art Peck, CEO of Gap, commented:

During the quarter, we took critical steps to execute our restructuring plans and to build a more efficient global brand model with greater potential for growth. While I remain unsatisfied with the pace of improvement across the business, I am encouraged by the underlying signs of progress in Q2, as demonstrated by healthier merchandise margins. Our management teams share my urgency to create fundamental change that will drive long-term performance.

On the books, Gap cash and cash equivalents totaled $1.68 billion at the end of the quarter, versus $1.04 billion at the end of the same period from last year.

Shares of Gap closed Thursday up 1.7% at $25.88, with a consensus analyst price target of $22.30 and a 52-week trading range of $17.00 to $33.80. Following the release of the earnings report, the stock was initially down about 3% at $25.11 in early trading indications on Friday.