Gap Rises After Same-Store Sales Beat Analysts’ Estimates

Gap Inc. touched the highest price in 13 years after the largest U.S. specialty apparel retailer reported same-store sales for May that were higher than analysts estimated.

Gap rose 2.7 percent to $42.09 at the close in New York after increasing to $42.40, the highest since April 2000. The San Francisco-based company’s shares have advanced 36 percent this year through today, the best performance for an apparel company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Retailing Index.

Total comparable sales rose 7 percent last month, according to a statement from Gap yesterday. Analysts had projected 3.7 percent, on average, according to researcher Retail Metrics Inc.

“We are pleased with the positive customer response to summer product across our brands and the continued momentum in the business,” Glenn Murphy, the retailer’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement.

Same-store sales at the Banana Republic brand were little changed, missing the estimate for a gain of 0.7 percent from Retail Metrics. The Gap brand rose 8 percent, compared with an estimated 3.8 percent advance. The Old Navy brand increased 9 percent, topping an estimate for a 5.4 percent jump.

Same-store sales rose last month for nine of the 10 companies tracked by Swampscott, Massachusetts-based Retail Metrics. L Brands Inc. sales climbed 3 percent, beating the 2.9 percent estimate. Sales at the company’s Victoria’s Secret brand were up 4 percent, while the Bath & Body Works brand gained 3 percent.

Buckle Inc. same-store sales rose 4.1 percent in May, compared with a 3.4 percent estimated gain. Zumiez Inc., the only company to fall short of estimates, said comparable-store sales rose 1.1 percent, below the average estimate of 2.9 percent.

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