UPDATE: Gap, Inc. (GPS) trading halted with news pending

March 7, 2013 10:58 AM EST
(Updated - March 7, 2013 11:06 AM EST)

Gap, Inc. (NYSE: GPS) trading halted with news pending.

UPDATE - Shares saw a little surge just after the open Thursday, also popping about 10 cents higher into the halt.

Gap is up about 4.18 percent into the stoppage.

From Gap's February sales call this morning:

Regarding February sales performance, total company net sales were $966 million for the 4-week period ended March 2, 2013, up 11% to last year. Total company comparable store sales increased 3% to last year. The 8 percentage point difference between the comp growth and the total sales growth was driven largely by the calendar shift, as February 2013 drops off a lower volume week and picks up a higher volume week versus last year. Additionally, intermix is included in total sales and does not have a last year comparison.

Global comps for February were as follows: Gap Inc., positive 3% versus positive 4% last year; Gap brand Global, positive 2% versus negative 2% last year; Banana Republic Global, negative 5% versus positive 11% last year; Old Navy Global, positive 6% versus positive 5% last year. The fiscal year 2012 and fiscal year 2011 historical comparable store sales in this new global structure format can be accessed at www.gapinc.com.

Overall, we're pleased with the month. With regard to comp levers, the positive 3% Gap Inc. comp was driven by strength in conversion and UPT. Comps in February were strongest in week 4 and weakest in week 1, which coincided with the Northeast storms.

Turning to global brand results for the month. At Gap brand, we're pleased with the positive 2% comp in February. We saw continued strength in denim and wovens, and our Presidents' Day weekend promotion was successful. At Banana Republic, the colder weather impacted February performance, as we believe the customer felt like the February assortment was too spring forward. That said, BR was up against a strong positive '11 comp from last year. At Old Navy, we're pleased with the positive 6% comp we delivered in February. Women's continued its strong performance particularly in wovens and denim, as our denim event performed well. As we look forward to March, it's important to note that Easter is on March 31 this year versus April 8 last year. We expected the earlier Easter timing to negatively impact March as Easter Sunday when there's far less shopping activity falls into March versus April last year.

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