How Strong Comps Continue to Push Gap Even Higher

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When Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday, the company said that it had $0.58 in earnings per share (EPS) on $3.84 in revenue. That compares with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $0.54 in EPS and $3.76 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, the retailer posted EPS of $0.51 and $3.80 billion in revenue.

During this quarter, comparable sales were up 3%, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales. Last year, comparable sales decreased by 1% in the same quarter.

In terms of its brands, Gap reported comparable sales as follows:

  • Old Navy Global: positive 4% versus positive 4% last year.
  • Gap Global: positive 1% versus negative 4%.
  • Banana Republic Global: negative 1% versus negative 6%.

Looking ahead to the 2017 fiscal full year, management expects to see EPS in the range of $2.08 to $2.12 and comparable sales to be up by low-single-digits. The consensus estimates call for $2.06 in EPS and $15.56 billion in revenue for the year.

On the books, Gap cash and cash equivalents totaled $1.35 billion at the end of the quarter, down from $1.52 billion at the end of the same period last year.

Art Peck, president and CEO of Gap, commented:

We continue to make progress against the balanced growth strategy we outlined in September, driving efficiency at our more mature brands, while growing our footprint in the value and active space, and investing in our online and mobile experience.

Gap shares closed Thursday at $27.48, with a consensus analyst price target of $26.49 and a 52-week range of $21.02 to $29.77. Following the announcement, the stock was up over 7% at $29.50 in early trading indications Friday.