Gap fends off retail apocalypse, climbs on earnings beat

Gap Inc.‘s stock climbed 6% to $US24.57 a share after the company reported first-quarter profit that beat analyst forecasts.

The adjusted gain for the period was $US0.36 per share, exceeding consensus estimates of $US0.29 per share. The clothing retailer also reported quarterly revenue of $US3.44 billion, beating an analyst forecast of $US3.39 billion. Further, same-store sales climbed 2%, while estimates called for a 0.2% contraction.

“We are pleased with our positive comp and earnings growth this quarter,” president and CEO Art Peck said in a statement. “We’ve made substantial improvements in product quality and fit, and our increasing responsive capabilities are enabling us to better react to trends and demand.”

It hasn’t been pretty for brick-and-mortar shops. In addition to a rash of store closings, Sears is also battling dwindling inventory, while its CEO publicly battles one of the department store’s biggest tool vendors. Macy’s is shutting stores at a rapid clip. Even billionaire investor Warren Buffett has piled on.

A boost to Gap’s stock will be welcome news for shareholders that have suffered through a 13% drop over the past week. The stock has slipped 24% since reaching an almost 14-month high on November 17.

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