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Gap Backs Earnings Forecast

The retailer says results are trending toward the upper end of its projected range.
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(GPS) - Get Gap, Inc. Report

affirmed its full-year earnings estimate Wednesday despite slumping sales, according to media reports.

Gap Chief Financial Officer Byron Pollitt, speaking at an investor conference, reiterated a fiscal-year earnings forecast of $1.12 to $1.17 a share and said results are trending toward the upper end of the range. He also said the company intends to continue raising its dividend payments and repurchasing shares, according to

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Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.15 a share for the fiscal year ending this month, according to an average estimate compiled by Thomson First Call.

Gap's three main divisions -- Gap Stores, Banana Republic and Old Navy -- have struggled against increasing competition in the specialty retail space lately. In the key holiday month of December, the company's same-store sales slid 9%, but Gap noted that fewer markdowns resulted in improved merchandise margins from a year ago.

Shares of Gap were recently trading up 12 cents, or 0.7%, to $17.60.