Why The Gap (GPS) Stock Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Gap (GPS) shares are up 4.3% to $40.94 on Friday after increasing its first quarter earnings forecast in a note after the bell yesterday.

The company said that it expects to earn between 56 cents and 57 cents per share during the quarter, beating analysts consensus estimates of 53 cents per share.

The increased profit expectation rests on the back of increased sales across the board for the clothing retailer. Same store sales in April rose 9%, ahead of the Street's estimate of a 0.5% increase, while net sales for the quarter of $3.77 billion beat analysts estimates of $3.69 billion.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates GAP INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GAP INC (GPS) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, increase in stock price during the past year and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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