GAP says sales edge up 3 percent in second quarter

GAP reports 3 percent sales growth in second quarter, 5 percent growth in July

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Gap Inc. said Thursday that its sales edged up 3 percent in the second quarter as growth at Old Navy offset lower sales of the company's namesake brand.

It also forecast second-results above Wall Street expectations and its stock rose 5 percent in extended trading.

The San Francisco-based retailer owns the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix brands.

Gap reported after the market closed Thursday that its sales for the second quarter increased 3 percent to $3.98 billion compared with $3.87 billion for the second quarter last year.

The company said it expects adjusted earnings per share for the quarter of 68 to 69 cents, excluding gains from real estate assets. Analysts polled by FactSet are forecasting earnings per share of 66 cents. The company is due to report is second-quarter results on Aug. 21.

It also said its July sales grew 5 percent to $1.17 billion.

Gap said that its revenue from stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of retail performance because it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores, increased 2 percent for July as positive results for Banana Republic and Old Navy offset lower sales for Gap stores.

The company has more than 3,100 company-operated stores and more than 350 franchise stores, along with its online shopping sites.

Shares of Gap Inc. rose $2.05 to $42.25 in after-hours trading, after slipping 27 cents in regular trading.

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