Gap April revenue rises

Gap revenue figure rises 7 percent in April, topping analysts' expectations

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Gap Inc. said Thursday that a key revenue figure rose 7 percent in April, driven by strong results at its namesake Gap and Old Navy stores.

Results beat analysts' expectations and the company offered better-than-expected first-quarter guidance. Gap shares jumped nearly 7 percent in after-hours trading.

The measure —sales from stores open at least one year — is a key gauge of a retailer's financial health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year.

The figure rose 8 percent at Gap, 9 percent at Old Navy and 1 percent at Banana Republic.

Total revenue for the four-week period ended May 4 rose 5 percent to $1.21 billion.

In the first quarter, total revenue rose 7 percent to $3.73 billion from a year ago. Analysts expect $3.66 billion, according to FactSet..

Revenue in stores open at least one year rose 2 percent in the quarter.

Based on the results, Gap forecast first-quarter net income of 68 or 69 cents per share — 64 or 65 cents excluding a benefit related to tax matters. Analysts expect 56 cents per share.

Gap's strong results reflected other retailers' reports, as Americans spent briskly during the early spring months. Overall, sales in stores open at least one year rose 4.7 percent in April compared with the same month a year ago, according to a preliminary tally of 12 retailers by the International Council of Shopping Centers trade group.

Analysts expected a 5.5 percent increase, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Gap shares rose $2.01, or 5.2 percent to $40.82 in aftermarket trading. The stock has traded between $25.02 and $39.29 in the past 52 weeks.

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