Gap Inc. raised its profit outlook for the year, on the heels of better-than-expected fourth-quarter same-store sales growth. The apparel retailer now expects earnings per share for the fiscal year ending in January of $2.86 to $2.87, up from a previous forecast of $2.73 to $2.78. For the fourth quarter, the company expects EPS of 73 cents to 74 cents, above the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of 68 cents. Same-store sales for the quarter rose 2%, above analyst projections of 1% growth, as growth in Banana Republic and Old Navy sales offset a decline at Gap branded stores. For the month of January, total sales fell to $888 million from $899 million a year ago, while same-store sales declined 3%. The stock slipped 0.5% in after-hours trade. Over the past three months, it has gained 5.9% while the S&P 500 has edged up 0.8%.
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