Gap, Inc. (The) (NYSE:GPS) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest in the month of September. As of September 15th, there was short interest totalling 28,042,931 shares, a decline of 11.0% from the August 31st total of 31,492,971 shares. Approximately 12.5% of the company’s shares are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 7,856,875 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.6 days.

Several equities analysts recently commented on the stock. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. raised shares of Gap, Inc. (The) from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $24.00 to $28.00 in a research report on Sunday, June 4th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $27.00 price target (up previously from $26.00) on shares of Gap, Inc. (The) in a report on Friday, July 14th. ValuEngine raised shares of Gap, Inc. (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. CIBC raised shares of Gap, Inc. (The) from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Monday, June 5th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Gap, Inc. (The) from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $29.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Gap, Inc. (The) has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $26.55.

Shares of Gap, Inc. (GPS) opened at 29.53 on Monday. The company’s 50 day moving average is $24.44 and its 200-day moving average is $23.86. Gap, Inc. has a 12 month low of $21.02 and a 12 month high of $30.74. The company has a market cap of $11.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.07 and a beta of 0.87.

Gap, Inc. (The) (NYSE:GPS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.52 by $0.06. Gap, Inc. (The) had a net margin of 5.42% and a return on equity of 28.50%. The company had revenue of $3.80 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.77 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.60 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Gap, Inc. will post $2.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 25th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 4th will be paid a $0.23 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, October 3rd. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.12%. Gap, Inc. (The)’s dividend payout ratio is currently 43.81%.

In other Gap, Inc. (The) news, EVP Paul Joseph Chapman sold 4,898 shares of Gap, Inc. (The) stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.82, for a total value of $111,772.36. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director William Sydney Fisher sold 666,849 shares of Gap, Inc. (The) stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.99, for a total value of $18,665,103.51. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 12,237,873 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $342,538,065.27. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 675,682 shares of company stock valued at $18,874,530 over the last ninety days. 27.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. OppenheimerFunds Inc. grew its position in Gap, Inc. (The) by 15.5% in the first quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 82,410 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $2,002,000 after acquiring an additional 11,080 shares during the period. Empirical Finance LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Gap, Inc. (The) by 82.4% during the second quarter. Empirical Finance LLC now owns 71,149 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $1,565,000 after acquiring an additional 32,145 shares during the period. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its stake in shares of Gap, Inc. (The) by 8.0% in the 2nd quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 29,517 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $649,000 after purchasing an additional 2,186 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in shares of Gap, Inc. (The) by 20.1% in the 1st quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,953,064 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $47,440,000 after purchasing an additional 326,601 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in shares of Gap, Inc. (The) by 15.5% in the 2nd quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 153,985 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $3,386,000 after purchasing an additional 20,700 shares in the last quarter. 56.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Gap, Inc. (The)

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.

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