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The Gap Inc. (GPS - Analyst Report) reported better-than-expected Nov 2013 comparable-store sales (comps) results, benefiting from the calendar shift that moved Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend sales into November this year.

Gap posted comps increase of 2% for Nov 2013, compared with a 3% increase for the 4 weeks ended Nov 24, 2012. Brand-wise, the company registered improved comps performance at Gap and Old Navy, while Banana Republic reported negative comps.

Comps at Gap Global rose 2% compared with a 4% increase in the prior-year period. Old Navy Global's comps increased 3% versus a 1% increase last year. However, comps at Banana Republic Global inched down 1%, as against a 3% rise recorded last year.

Net sales for the four-week period came at $1.63 billion, up 8% from $1.52 billion during the four-week period ended Nov 24, 2012. The company’s improved top-line results also reflected its ability to enhance customers’ shopping experience in all mediums including stores, online or on their mobile devices.

Amid weaker-than-expected November comps displayed by most retail chains, Gap was able to keep heads up by inducing shoppers with strong promotions and trendy merchandise. Additionally, the company gained from recording early holiday sales on Thanksgiving night against the traditional start of the holiday season on Black Friday. The company opened nearly half of its stores across the country on Thanksgiving.  

On the other hand, comps of retailers like The Buckle Inc. (BKE - Snapshot Report), L Brands Inc. (LB - Analyst Report) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST - Analyst Report) were below analyst expectations. Costco posted comparable-store sales growth of 2.0%, while comps for L Brands and Buckle declined 5.0% and 0.6%, respectively, for the month of November.

Gap currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and is scheduled to release its December sales results on Jan 9, 2014.

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