Gap (GPS - Get Report) shares rose nearly 3% to $23.63 a share in after-hours trading on Monday after the San Francisco-based company reported that its 2016 fourth quarter and January sales were up after a dismal holiday season for retailers.
After today's market close, Gap said its net sales rose 2% to $828 million for the four weeks ended Jan. 28, compared to last year's January sales of $813 million. For the quarter, net sales increased 1% to $4.43 billion vs. last year's fourth quarter revenue of $4.39 billion.
Analysts surveyed at Factset expected Gap to report fourth quarter revenue of $4.4 billion.
Same-store sales for the month increased 1%, and for the quarter they rose 2%. This certainly is a relief for the company that posted an 8% decline in comparable store sales for the month of January in 2016 and a 7% slip in same-store sales for last year's fourth quarter.
For the quarter, sales at Gap's Old Navy stores increased 5%, its Gap Global sales were flat and its Banana Republic sales slipped 3%, compared to last year's 8% decline in Old Navy sales, 3% slip in Gap Global sales and 14% decrease in Banana Republic sales.
Gap's revenue beat is particularly striking as a slew of retailers, including Wet Seal and The Limited, have filed for Chapter 11 amid a drop in foot traffic at malls, where Gap is primarily located. Gap's sales increase also comes on the heels of last week's weak fourth quarters for athletic-wear maker Under Armour (UA - Get Report) and UGG-shoe maker Deckers Outdoor (DECK) , which posted a nearly 10% slip in U.S. sales.
Looking ahead, Gap said it expects its full-year 2016 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.01 to $2.02, excluding certain costs related to factors including store closures.
In November, when the retailer reported weak third quarter net sales of $3.8 billion, a 2% decline from the previous year's third quarter of $3.86 billion, it announced it would be closing 65 stores by the end of the year.