Banana Republic Sales Bolster Gap 4th Quarter Earnings

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Gap Inc. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income rose nearly 4 percent as slightly stronger sales at its higher-priced Banana Republic stores made up for continued weakness at Gap brand stores.

The San Francisco-Based company is buying back $2 billion in shares and raising its annual dividend by 5 cents.

It said Thursday that its quarterly net income rose to $365 million, or 60 cents per share. That compares to $352 million, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 3 percent to $4.36 billion. Analysts expected $4.34 billion.

Revenue for the Gap brand fell nearly 2 percent; for Old Navy, it edged down less than 1 percent. Banana Republic revenue rose nearly 2 percent.

The company expects 2011 net income of $1.88 to $1.93 per share. Analysts expect $1.94.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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