Share “Gap's 4th-quarter net income rises 61 percent”

Gap's 4th-quarter net income rises 61 percent

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm •  Published: February 28, 2013

In particular, poor fit and lack of exciting fashions including drab colors hurt the company's flagship brand for most of the decade. The Gap brand has also been increasingly squeezed in the middle, between cheap chic fashion purveyors like Swedish retailer H&M and Forever 21 at the bottom, and higher-priced options like Abercrombie & Fitch and J.Crew at the top.

Gap, however, appears to be striking the right chord these days. It's worked hard to turn around its business, from staff changes to new ad campaigns and partnerships with other designers. A few examples: Gap Kids partnership with Diane Von Furstenberg and Banana Republic's partnership with AMC's hit show "Mad Men."

The company has also hired new talent. The Banana Republic division brought in fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez who began serving as an adviser to the brand starting with the fall 2013 collection.

The Gap brand already had brought back Tracy Gardner as creative adviser. She made an imprint on holiday fashions. Gardner, a former J. Crew executive, worked at Gap and Banana Republic in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Last fall, the San Francisco company hired Stef Larsson, former head of global sales for trendy fashion retailer H&M, as president of the Old Navy brand.

Gap announced last October a management overhaul aimed at enabling it to respond more quickly to changing tastes around the world. The change, which took effect this month, put the North American, international, online, outlet and franchise divisions under a single global executive for each of the company's brands. The company also formed a new innovation and digital strategy team to further advance its efforts in that area.

The company is looking for new opportunities overseas, particularly China.

Gap's first-quarter dividend of 15 cents per share will be paid on or after May 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 10.

The company expects to earn $2.52 per share to $2.60 per share this year. That's below analysts' consensus estimate of $2.59 estimate, according to FactSet. Gap cited the weakening yen as a factor.

Shares rose 76 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $33.68 in after-hours trading, after climbing 44 cents to close at $32.95. Shares have soared nearly 80 percent since the beginning of last year amid evidence of a turnaround.