Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Gap, Inc. (The) (NYSE:GPS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Monday. The brokerage currently has $29.00 target price on the apparel retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Gap’s shares have outpaced the industry in the last three months, driven by its solid focus on enhancing product quality and responsiveness to changing consumer trends. Evidently, the company has been making constant efforts to boost its digital and mobile offerings, alongside improving product acceptance. Further, the company’s new growth strategy focused on growing its Old Navy and Athleta brands looks promising. The company expects to open 270 new Old Navy and Athleta stores, while closing 200 Gap and Banana Republic stores. Additionally, Gap’s second-quarter fiscal 2017 marked its second straight earnings beat, and sales topped estimates for the fifth consecutive quarter. The company’s growth efforts and a solid first half encouraged management to raise fiscal 2017 earnings view. However, currency woes are likely to persist in fiscal 2017. It also expects high SG&A expenses in third quarter to impede results.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Jefferies Group LLC set a $35.00 price objective on Gap, Inc. (The) and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, August 16th. BidaskClub upgraded Gap, Inc. (The) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. FBR & Co set a $28.00 price objective on Gap, Inc. (The) and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, May 19th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated a neutral rating and set a $27.00 price objective (up from $26.00) on shares of Gap, Inc. (The) in a report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada restated a hold rating and set a $26.00 price objective on shares of Gap, Inc. (The) in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-one have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $26.01.

Gap, Inc. (NYSE GPS) opened at 28.22 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.44 and a beta of 0.82. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $23.86 and a 200-day moving average price of $23.75. Gap, Inc. has a one year low of $21.02 and a one year high of $30.74.

Gap, Inc. (The) (NYSE:GPS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.06. Gap, Inc. (The) had a return on equity of 28.50% and a net margin of 5.42%. The company had revenue of $3.80 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.77 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.60 EPS. Gap, Inc. (The)’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Gap, Inc. will post $2.06 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 25th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, October 4th will be issued a $0.23 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, October 3rd. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.26%. Gap, Inc. (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 43.81%.

In other news, CEO Sonia Syngal sold 1,935 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.79, for a total value of $49,903.65. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 39,656 shares in the company, valued at $1,022,728.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, EVP Paul Joseph Chapman sold 4,898 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.82, for a total value of $111,772.36. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 9,833 shares of company stock valued at $231,606. Insiders own 27.30% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ffcm LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Gap, Inc. (The) by 198.0% in the second quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 5,296 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 3,519 shares during the period. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Gap, Inc. (The) in the first quarter valued at $127,000. James Investment Research Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Gap, Inc. (The) in the second quarter valued at $144,000. Penserra Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Gap, Inc. (The) by 9.5% in the first quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 5,980 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $145,000 after buying an additional 520 shares during the period. Finally, Paragon Capital Management Ltd acquired a new stake in shares of Gap, Inc. (The) in the second quarter valued at $229,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 56.21% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Gap, Inc. (The) (NYSE:GPS)

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