GAP (NYSE:GPS)‘s stock had its “hold” rating reissued by equities researchers at Guggenheim in a report issued on Friday, March 2nd.
The analysts wrote, “We are encouraged by the fifth straight quarter of positive comps, driven by momentum in Old Navy and the return to positive comps in the Banana Republic division. We would also note Athleta continues to perform well. Old Navy continues to be the main driver of growth at the company and 4Q sales increased 13% to >$2bn and FY17 net sales surpassed $7bn. Consumers continue to react favorably to the Old Navy’s value offering and both stores and online performed well in FY17. The company believes the brand is underpenetrated vs. peers and will look to double the number of store openings in 2018 (>30 new stores in 2017). Athleta brand growth accelerated in the back-half of 2017 from +MT% in 1H17 to mid-20% growth in the back half of the year. We view the Athleta brand favorably given its position at the intersection of health and wellness. All three nameplates again outpaced U.S.””
Several other analysts have also commented on the stock. Barclays raised their price objective on shares of GAP from $34.00 to $39.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, January 25th. TheStreet lowered shares of GAP from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Monday, November 13th. KeyCorp restated an “overweight” rating on shares of GAP in a report on Friday, November 17th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of GAP from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 14th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on shares of GAP from $26.00 to $28.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have issued a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $31.99.
GAP (NYSE:GPS) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, March 1st. The apparel retailer reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $4.78 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.68 billion. GAP had a net margin of 5.35% and a return on equity of 28.13%. GAP’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.51 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that GAP will post 2.63 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other GAP news, CEO Jeff Kirwan sold 101,820 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.73, for a total value of $3,434,388.60. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 101,820 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,434,388.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder John J. Fisher sold 500,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.43, for a total transaction of $17,215,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 2,319,396 shares in the company, valued at approximately $79,856,804.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 1,275,756 shares of company stock worth $42,361,835. 27.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in GPS. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in GAP in the 4th quarter worth $85,153,000. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ increased its holdings in shares of GAP by 305.0% in the 3rd quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 2,624,032 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $77,488,000 after buying an additional 1,976,200 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC bought a new stake in shares of GAP in the 4th quarter worth about $56,689,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of GAP by 32.5% in the 4th quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 5,231,621 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $178,189,000 after buying an additional 1,283,314 shares during the last quarter. Finally, American International Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of GAP by 6.9% in the 4th quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 17,739,940 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $604,222,000 after buying an additional 1,142,639 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.30% of the company’s stock.
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The Gap, Inc (Gap Inc) is an apparel retail company. The Company offers apparel, accessories and personal care products for men, women and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix brands. Its products are available to customers online through Company-owned Websites and through the use of third-parties that provide logistics and fulfillment services.
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