Gap, Inc. (The) (NYSE:GPS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Though Gap’s new growth strategy focused on growing its Old Navy and Athleta brands looks promising, results continue to be soft at its namesake and Banana Republic brands. Moreover, going forward it expects SG&A costs to increase at a higher rate than the first half. This mainly stems from increased product, marketing and digital investments for the significant back-to-school selling season. The company expects the rise in costs to hurt its bottom line. Additionally, the company expects currency headwinds to persist in fiscal 2017, which in turn might dent the quarterly results. Nonetheless, Gap’s shares have outpaced the industry in the last three months, driven by its solid focus on enhancing product quality and responsiveness to changing consumer trends. The company has been making constant efforts to boost its digital and mobile offerings, alongside improving product acceptance. Estimates have been going down lately.”
A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $26.00 target price on shares of Gap, Inc. (The) in a report on Monday, September 18th. ValuEngine raised Gap, Inc. (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 7th. Citigroup Inc. raised Gap, Inc. (The) from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $22.00 to $24.00 in a report on Friday, September 1st. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $39.00 price target (up previously from $35.00) on shares of Gap, Inc. (The) in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $33.00 price target on Gap, Inc. (The) and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, October 30th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Gap, Inc. (The) has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $26.86.
Gap, Inc. (The) (NYSE:GPS) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.06. Gap, Inc. (The) had a return on equity of 28.50% and a net margin of 5.42%. The company had revenue of $3.80 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.77 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.60 EPS. Gap, Inc. (The)’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Gap, Inc. will post 2.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.
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In related news, CEO Jeff Kirwan sold 1,000 shares of Gap, Inc. (The) stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.38, for a total transaction of $29,380.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 25,268 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $742,373.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director William Sydney Fisher sold 666,849 shares of Gap, Inc. (The) stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.99, for a total transaction of $18,665,103.51. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 12,237,873 shares in the company, valued at $342,538,065.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 676,682 shares of company stock valued at $18,906,180 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 27.30% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of GPS. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its holdings in Gap, Inc. (The) by 202.2% during the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 3,801,842 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $83,603,000 after buying an additional 2,543,850 shares during the period. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ increased its holdings in Gap, Inc. (The) by 305.0% during the third quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 2,624,032 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $77,488,000 after buying an additional 1,976,200 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in Gap, Inc. (The) by 10.6% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 10,710,283 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $316,275,000 after purchasing an additional 1,030,160 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. grew its holdings in Gap, Inc. (The) by 27.7% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 4,652,508 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $137,389,000 after purchasing an additional 1,009,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in Gap, Inc. (The) by 2.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 23,743,881 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $522,127,000 after purchasing an additional 643,396 shares during the last quarter. 56.78% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Gap, Inc. (The) Company Profile
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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