Updated from Thursday, Feb. 25
SAN FRANCISCO (
received a boost from its Old Navy chain, helping the specialty retailer to nearly double its profit in the fourth quarter.
Gap also predicts full-year fiscal 2011 earnings ahead of Wall Street's consensus. The company is looking for earnings between $1.70 to $1.75 a share, compared with $1.69 a share analysts predict.
During the quarter, Gap earned $352 million, or 51 cents a share, compared with $242 million, or 34 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected Gap to earn 50 cents a share.
Sales rose 4% to $4.24 billion from $4.08 billion last year, while same-store sales slipped 2%. By division, comparable sales fell 1% at Gap stores, 2% at Banana Republic and jumped 7% at Old Navy.
Gap also announced that it will repurchase up to $1 billion in shares and up its dividend by 6 cents to 40 cents. The first quarterly dividend of 10 cents will be payable April 28 to shareholders April 7.
Shares of Gap rose 2% in after-hours trading Thursday to $20.80.
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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