• Gap Stock Jumps More Than 15% on September Surprise

Gap Stock Jumps More Than 15% on September Surprise

Investors looked right past the impact of a fire at Gap Inc.’s Fishkill, N.Y., distribution center and gave a hearty thumbs-up to the underlying trend in the company’s September sales. Shares of Gap shot up 15.3 percent to $26.26 in afternoon trading Friday after the company said that it’s 3 percent drop in comparable sales would have been a flat showing without the fire, which authorities ruled as arson. Wall Street was projecting a steeper comp decline of 4 percent. Wells Fargo analyst Ike Boruchow noted that Gap is “trying to make progress towards a turnaround” and said Old Navy is “showing some strength” with a 4 percent comp gain in September, while questions remain for Gap (with a 10 percent comp drop) and Banana Republic (down 9 percent). Boruchow said there’s still plenty of uncertainty ahead for the company despite the better-than-expected performance. “With the same effect expected on October comps (3 point drag) and a yet unquantified effect on Q4, there remains a great deal of uncertainty regarding how Gap will weather this challenge through the critical holiday season,” he said. He had company in the feeling that Gap still had plenty of work ahead of it. Nomura analyst Simeon Siegel noted: “Roughly 12 million

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