Can Gap Keep Pushing Higher With Q4 Earnings?

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The Gap, Inc. (NYSE: GPS) reported fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after markets closed on Thursday. The company posted $0.51 in earnings per share (EPS) and $4.43 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates that called for $0.51 in EPS and $4.39 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.57 in EPS and $4.38 billion in revenue.

For the full year, Gap said that it had $2.02 in EPS on $15.52 billion in revenue. The previous fiscal year had $2.43 in EPS and $15.80 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates were predicting $2.02 in EPS and $15.48 billion in revenue.

Comparable sales were up 2% for the quarter, compared with a decline of 7% reported last year. For the fiscal year comps were down 2% versus a decline of 4% in 2015. The comps by global brand for the 2016 fiscal year broke down as:

  • Old Navy Global: positive 1% versus flat last year.
  • Gap Global: negative 3% versus negative 6%.
  • Banana Republic Global: negative 7% versus negative 10%.

In terms of the outlook for the 2017 fiscal year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $1.95 to $2.05 and comparable sales to be flat to up slightly. There are consensus estimates calling for $2.07 in EPS and $15.49 billion in revenue for the full year.

The board of directors authorized a first-quarter fiscal year 2017 dividend of $0.23 per share, payable on or after April 26, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 5.

On the books, cash and cash equivalents totaled $1.78 billion at the end of the quarter, compared with $1.37 billion in the same period from last year.

Art Peck, CEO of Gap, commented:

We’re pleased to finish the year strong, with positive comp and sales growth during the critical holiday quarter. Going forward, we will maintain our focus on improving the quality and relevance of our products, increasing our responsiveness to trends and demand, and creating more synergy across channels to deliver the experiences our customers want and expect, however they choose to shop.

Shares of Gap closed Thursday down 3.6% at $23.97, with a consensus analyst price target of $25.52 and a 52-week trading range of $17.00 to $30.74. Following the release of the earnings report the stock was initially up 1.3% at $24.27 in the after-hours trading session.