Gap ( GPS) posted yet another subpar sales performance Thursday while projecting a fourth-quarter loss that would be in line with estimates.

The flagging apparel retailer said same-store sales fell 16% both in January and in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2. Analysts had expected the company to post a 13%-15% sales decline in January. Still, Gap said its fourth-quarter loss would amount to between 3 cents and 5 cents a share, in line with analyst estimates as compiled by Thomson Financial/First Call.

Gap also said it expects to end the fourth quarter with more than $800 million in cash and debt of about $2 billion, below the previous guidance of $2.2 billion. The company also trimmed its 2002 capital spending guidance, which should calm investors who are concerned about the company's cash position. Worries about Gap's finances punished the stock throughout 2001 as the company's sales plunged.

Gap rose 32 cents to $13.22 early Thursday.

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