Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Gap returned to its old trend of posting in-line earnings, in third-quarter fiscal 2016. However, results fell year over year, with sales marking its seventh straight miss in the quarter, marred by soft demand, sluggish traffic, stiff competition from other apparel chains and weakness across most brands. Additionally, comps in the quarter were hurt by the campus fire that hit Gap’s Fishkill distribution center. Moreover, management’s additional store closure plans due to soft demand expectations for the holiday season raise concerns. Nonetheless, Gap formulated several holiday strategies to counter this situation and make the most of the season. Further, the company continues to gain from Old Navy’s solid performance, which boosted Gap’s merchandise margins in the quarter. The company’s focus on its recently drawn strategic plans and its retained outlook amid the prevalent headwinds, further usher in some relief.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on GPS. Wolfe Research raised Gap from a “peer perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $30.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Standpoint Research cut Gap from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Vetr raised Gap from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $25.65 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Wells Fargo & Co. reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $26.00 price objective (up previously from $21.00) on shares of Gap in a research report on Tuesday, July 26th. Finally, FBR & Co set a $22.00 price objective on Gap and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-five have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $24.87.

Analyst Recommendations for Gap (NYSE:GPS)

Shares of Gap (NYSE:GPS) opened at 24.99 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $9.97 billion, a PE ratio of 14.88 and a beta of 1.06. Gap has a 1-year low of $17.00 and a 1-year high of $30.74. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $26.56 and a 200-day moving average price of $23.37.

Gap (NYSE:GPS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.60 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.60. Gap had a return on equity of 32.19% and a net margin of 4.33%. The business had revenue of $3.80 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.74 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.63 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Gap will post $2.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 25th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 4th will be given a dividend of $0.23 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, December 30th. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.68%. Gap’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 55.09%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in GPS. World Asset Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Gap by 0.9% in the third quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 25,916 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $576,000 after buying an additional 223 shares during the last quarter. ARGI Investment Services LLC increased its position in shares of Gap by 8.8% in the second quarter. ARGI Investment Services LLC now owns 38,516 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $810,000 after buying an additional 3,131 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc increased its position in shares of Gap by 4.2% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 1,119,779 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $32,922,000 after buying an additional 45,600 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp increased its position in shares of Gap by 1.8% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 14,135,669 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $299,958,000 after buying an additional 251,964 shares during the period. Finally, Commonwealth Bank of Australia increased its position in shares of Gap by 12.6% in the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 273,798 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $5,810,000 after buying an additional 30,600 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.77% of the company’s stock.

About Gap

The Gap, Inc (Gap Inc) is an apparel retail company. The Company offers apparel, accessories and personal care products for men, women and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and Intermix brands. Its products are available to customers online through Company-owned Websites and through the use of third-parties that provide logistics and fulfillment services.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:GPS

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