(By Balaseshan) Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) said its comparable store sales for the month of January increased 8% on top of last year's 4% decline. In addition, the apparel retailer guided fourth quarter earnings above Street's view.
Comparable store sales from Gap North America increased 8%, while store sales from Banana Republic North America were up 8%. Store sales from Old Navy North America grew 12%, while sales from International rose 1%.
Net sales for the five-week period ended February 2, 2013 were $1.13 billion, up from $833 million for the four-week period ended January 28, 2012.
The company's fourth quarter comparable sales increased 5%. Net sales for the fourth quarter ended February 2, 2013 increased to $4.73 billion from $4.28 billion.
Further, the company expects fourth quarter earnings of $0.70 to $0.71 per share, while Street predicts $0.69 per share.
Beginning with February sales, monthly results will be released after market close at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Thursday following the end of each fiscal month.
Given Gap's new global brands structure, the company will shift from its current reporting format of Gap Inc., Gap North America, Banana Republic North America, Old Navy North America, and International comparable sales results to the format -- Gap Inc., Gap Global, Banana Republic Global and Old Navy Global -- with International results included in each brand.
GPS closed Wednesday's regular session at $33.22. The stock has been trading between $21.15 and $37.85 for the past 52 weeks.