On a year-over-year basis, inventory dollars per store were up 5 percent at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, which is in line with comparable sales.
For fiscal year 2013, the company expects inventory dollars per store at the end of the first quarter to be up in the mid-single digits on a year-over-year basis over last year’s negative 7 percent.
Cash, Cash Equivalents, and Short-Term Investments
The company ended the year with $1.5 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. For fiscal year 2012, free cash flow, defined as net cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property and equipment, was $1.3 billion compared with $815 million in fiscal year 2011. Please see the reconciliation of free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, from the GAAP financial measure in the tables at the end of this press release.
During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, the company repurchased about 18 million shares for $563 million. For fiscal year 2012, the company repurchased about 34 million shares for a total of $1 billion.
As announced in January, the company completed its previous $1 billion authorization and announced a new $1 billion share repurchase authorization, underscoring its continued commitment to returning excess cash to shareholders.
The company paid a dividend of $0.125 per share during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, which was an increase of 11 percent compared with the fourth quarter last year.
In a separate press release today, the company announced that its Board of Directors approved a plan to increase the company’s annual dividend per share by 20 percent to $0.60 per share for fiscal year 2013. This is the fourth consecutive year Gap Inc. has increased its dividend.
Fiscal year 2012 capital expenditures were $659 million.