GAP (GPS) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of GAP (NYSE:GPS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Gap has outperformed the industry in the past three months, driven by impressive earnings in fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 and announcement of spin-off plans. We expect, the company’s plans to spin off into two public companies, Old Navy and NewCo, to strategically focus on growth initiatives and improve operating efficiency, to aid growth. Moreover, the company has been making constant efforts to boost digital and mobile offerings alongside improving product acceptance. However, persistent softness across its namesake brand, which continued in the fiscal fourth quarter and hurt comps, remains concern. This, along with adverse currency translations affected the company’s top line that lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate after surpassing the same in the previous eight quarters. Further, management issued a bleak earnings view for fiscal 2019. Nevertheless, comps are anticipated to be flat to up slightly.”

GPS has been the subject of a number of other reports. Standpoint Research lowered GAP from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, March 1st. Barclays lowered GAP from an overweight rating to an underweight rating and set a $25.25 price target for the company. in a research note on Friday, January 11th. ValuEngine lowered GAP from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Thursday, February 7th. Deutsche Bank increased their price target on GAP from $30.00 to $34.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, March 1st. Finally, Guggenheim reissued a hold rating on shares of GAP in a research note on Sunday, April 21st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. GAP presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $29.33.

Shares of GAP stock opened at $24.36 on Tuesday. GAP has a 12 month low of $24.06 and a 12 month high of $34.21. The company has a market cap of $9.46 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.41, a PEG ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.35, a current ratio of 1.96 and a quick ratio of 0.98.

GAP (NYSE:GPS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 28th. The apparel retailer reported $0.72 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.68 by $0.04. GAP had a return on equity of 29.65% and a net margin of 6.05%. The company had revenue of $4.62 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.72 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.61 earnings per share. Research analysts predict that GAP will post 2.47 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, April 10th were issued a $0.2425 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, April 9th. This represents a $0.97 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.98%. GAP’s payout ratio is 37.45%.

In other news, CEO Sonia Syngal sold 11,764 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $26.51, for a total value of $311,863.64. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 37.60% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in shares of GAP by 5.4% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 27,822,458 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $802,678,000 after buying an additional 1,433,737 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of GAP by 28.2% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,412,955 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $534,413,000 after buying an additional 4,491,047 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its holdings in shares of GAP by 10.7% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 13,954,639 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $359,471,000 after buying an additional 1,352,026 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of GAP by 3.9% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,132,335 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $108,184,000 after buying an additional 156,902 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its holdings in shares of GAP by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 3,674,108 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $94,645,000 after buying an additional 225,682 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 57.86% of the company’s stock.

GAP Company Profile

The Gap, Inc operates as an apparel retail company worldwide. The company offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, and Hill City brands. Its products include denim, tees, button-downs, khakis, and other products; and fitness and lifestyle products for use in yoga, training, sports, travel, and everyday activities to women and girls.

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