Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

reported a wider-than-expected decline in its December same-store sales, which dipped 6%, compared with 5% growth in the same period last year.

Analysts on average polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

had estimated a 2.8% decline in the fashion retailer's December same-store sales. Gap, which also owns the Banana Republic and Old Navy chains, said total December sales rose 14% to $2.36 billion from $2.07 billion last year.

The San Francisco company, which called December "a disappointing month in what has been a difficult year," also commented on its fourth-quarter earnings today. The retailer said it believes the First Call consensus estimate of 36 cents a share "is achievable." However, Gap added that "the possibility of an even more aggressive promotional environment suggests three to five cents of downside risk.'' Gap earned 47 cents a share in the year-ago fourth quarter.

Shares of Gap closed at $30.31 in yesterday's trading on the Big Board.