How Will This Ratings Initiation Affect The Gap (GPS) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Gap Inc. (GPS) was initiated with a “neutral” rating and $44 price target at Credit Suisse (CS) on Monday.

The firm said it initiated coverage on the specialty apparel company with this rating due to its concern The Gap is investing more in future growth which could limit near-term earnings.

Shares of The Gap are down -0.78% to $42.24 in pre-market trading today. 

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Separately, 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 a few notable 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 revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • GPS's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 0.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 1.2%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.46, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Specialty Retail industry and the overall market, GAP INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $513.00 million or 44.10% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -3.20%.
  • GAP INC's earnings per share declined by 18.3% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, GAP INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.75 versus $2.32 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.93 versus $2.75).
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GPS Ratings Report
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