Trading Report: The Gap Inc. (GPS) Lowered by The Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

The Gap Inc. (GPS) Lowered by The Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Gap returned to its old trend of posting in-line earnings, in third-quarter fiscal 2016. However, results fell year over year, with sales marking its seventh straight miss in the quarter, marred by soft demand, sluggish traffic, stiff competition from other apparel chains and weakness across most brands. Additionally, comps in the quarter were hurt by the campus fire that hit Gap’s Fishkill distribution center. Moreover, management’s additional store closure plans due to soft demand expectations for the holiday season raise concerns. Nonetheless, Gap formulated several holiday strategies to counter this situation and make the most of the season. Further, the company continues to gain from Old Navy’s solid performance, which boosted Gap’s merchandise margins in the quarter. The company’s focus on its recently drawn strategic plans and its retained outlook amid the prevalent headwinds, further usher in some relief.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Mizuho lifted their target price on Gap from $24.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 8th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Gap in a research report on Monday, August 29th. Vetr raised Gap from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $25.65 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Wolfe Research reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $33.00 target price (up from $30.00) on shares of Gap in a research report on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Gap in a research report on Wednesday, August 17th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-five have assigned a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $24.87.

Shares of Gap (NYSE:GPS) opened at 25.57 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $27.00 and its 200-day moving average price is $23.45. The firm has a market capitalization of $10.20 billion, a PE ratio of 15.22 and a beta of 1.06. Gap has a 52-week low of $17.00 and a 52-week high of $30.74.

Gap (NYSE:GPS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.60. Gap had a return on equity of 32.19% and a net margin of 4.33%. The company had revenue of $3.80 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.74 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.63 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that Gap will post $1.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 4th will be issued a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.60%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 30th. Gap’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 55.09%.

In other Gap news, EVP Paul Joseph Chapman sold 6,764 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $24.99, for a total transaction of $169,032.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, President Jeff Kirwan sold 11,406 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.38, for a total transaction of $289,484.28. Following the sale, the president now owns 19,094 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $484,605.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 30.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Pacer Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Gap by 11.7% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 5,777 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $123,000 after buying an additional 606 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC boosted its stake in Gap by 22.1% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 5,869 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 1,062 shares during the last quarter. Americafirst Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Gap during the second quarter valued at $139,000. Toronto Dominion Bank boosted its stake in Gap by 362.7% in the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 6,691 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $149,000 after buying an additional 5,245 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Meeder Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Gap during the third quarter valued at $161,000. Institutional investors own 58.00% of the company’s stock.

About Gap

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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