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Long struggling Gap (GPS) - Get Gap, Inc. Report  admits it's still not out of the woods.

After the market's close on Thursday, the apparel retailer reported first-quarter earnings of 36 cents a share on revenue of $3.44 billion, crushing the earnings of 29 cents a share and revenue of $3.39 billion analysts surveyed at Factset expected.

Gap's same-store sales across all of its brands, including Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, grew 2%. At Old Navy, comparable store sales climbed 8%, while at Banana Republic and Gap they fell 4%.

Shares of Gap climbed as much as nearly 6% in after-market trading.

The company also reaffirmed its full-year guidance, calling for earnings of $1.95 to $2.05 a share and for  same-store sales to be flat or increase 2%.

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"We of course are not immune to any challenges facing the sector," CEO Art Peck said on a company earnings call. "But an 8% comp is an 8% comp [at Old Navy]. I am pleased with the progress we're making but we still have a lot of work to do and I can't dismiss the [challenged] environment we're working in."

To be sure, Gap still operates a bloated store base of 3,650 locations globally, and most are located in under-performing malls, so the sales growth was particularly noteworthy. On the call, Peck said Gap opened its first 8,000-square-foot "holistic" concept store in the first quarter, aimed at "leveraging technology to serve the customer."

Retailers across the board, from Macy's (M) - Get Macy's Inc Report to Fossil (FOSL) - Get Fossil Group, Inc. Report to J.C. Penney (JCP) - Get J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Report to Kohl's (KSS) - Get Kohl's Corporation Report , have been reporting lackluster results for the first quarter, due in part to the late tax refunds which deterred consumers from shopping, but more so because of the ever-changing retail environment.

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