Gap First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component The Gap, Inc. (NYSE:GPS) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, May 17, 2012. The Gap is an international specialty retailer that sells casual apparel, accessories and personal care products for men, women, and children.

The Gap, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 46 cents per share, a rise of 15% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved up from 35 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved up. It has risen from 38 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $1.94 per share, a rise of 24.4% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 2 cents, reporting profit of 44 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 42 cents per share.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 4.8% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $3.46 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Optimism surrounds Gap, as nine analysts rate it as a buy, four rate it as a sell, and 12 rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit fell 40.3% to $218 million (44 cents a share) from $365 million (59 cents a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue fell 1.9% to $4.28 billion from $4.36 billion.

>Key Stats:

For two quarters in a row, revenue has declined. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure fell 1.9%.

Stock Price Performance: Between February 15, 2012 and May 11, 2012, the stock price rose $5.71 (25.6%), from $22.29 to $28. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between February 8, 2012 and February 23, 2012, when shares rose for 11 straight days, increasing 10.5% (+$2.23) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 11, 2011 and November 25, 2011 when shares fell for 10 straight days, dropping 13.3% (-$2.68) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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