Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) today reported diluted earnings per share of $0.60 on a reported basis, and $0.24 on an adjusted basis, excluding the gain on sale of a building, costs associated with the company’s planned separation, and costs related to the previously announced specialty fleet restructuring. Please see the reconciliation of adjusted diluted earnings per share, a non-GAAP financial measure, from the GAAP financial measure in the table at the end of this press release.
“This quarter was extremely challenging, and we are not at all satisfied with our results. We are committed to improving our execution and performance this year,” said Art Peck, president and chief executive officer, Gap Inc. “We remain confident in our plan to separate into two independently traded public companies in 2020, and we are focused on setting up both companies for long term value creation and profitable growth.”
First Quarter 2019 Comparable Sales Results
The company’s first quarter fiscal year 2019 comparable sales were down 4% compared with a 1% increase last year. Comparable sales by global brand for the first quarter were as follows:
- Old Navy Global: negative 1% versus positive 3% last year
- Gap Global: negative 10% versus negative 4% last year
- Banana Republic Global: negative 3% versus positive 3% last year
For the first quarter ended May 4, 2019:
- Net sales were $3.7 billion, a decrease of 2% compared with last year.
- The translation of foreign currencies into U.S. dollars negatively impacted the company’s net sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 by about $34 million. First quarter net sales details appear in the tables at the end of this press release.
- Gross profit was $1.34 billion, a decrease of 6% compared with last year.
- Gross margin was 36.3%, a decrease of 140 basis points compared with last year.
- Operating margin was 8.5%, an increase of 240 basis points compared with last year. Adjusted operating margin was 3.5%, a decrease of 260 basis points compared with last year. Please see the reconciliation of adjusted operating margin, a non-GAAP financial measure, from the GAAP financial measure in the tables at the end of this press release.
- The effective tax rate was 24.8% for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.
- Diluted earnings per share were $0.60 compared to $0.42 last year. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $0.24 for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019. Please see the reconciliation of adjusted diluted earnings per share, a non-GAAP financial measure, from the GAAP financial measure in the table at the end of this press release.
- The company noted that foreign currency fluctuations positively impacted earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 by an estimated $0.01. 
- The company ended the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 with $2.24 billion in merchandise inventory, up about 10% year over year. The company noted that the increase in merchandise inventory was impacted by the acquisition of Janie and Jack, increases in in-transit times, and net store growth year over year.
- The company repurchased 1.9 million shares for $50 million and ended the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 with 378 million shares outstanding.
- The company paid a dividend of $0.2425 per share during the first quarter of fiscal year 2019. In addition, on May 22, 2019, the company announced that its Board of Directors authorized a second quarter dividend of $0.2425 per share.
The company ended the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 with $1.2 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. Year-to-date free cash flow, defined as net cash from operating activities less purchases of property and equipment, was negative $136 million compared with negative $204 million last year. Please see the reconciliation of free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, from the GAAP financial measure in the tables at the end of this press release.
First quarter fiscal year 2019 capital expenditures were $165 million.
The company ended the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 with 3,849 store locations in 44 countries, of which 3,335 were company-operated.
Recent Accounting Pronouncement - Leases
During the first quarter of fiscal 2019, we adopted the new lease accounting standard, ASC 842, using the optional transition method and recorded a decrease to opening retained earnings of $86 million, net of tax, as of the effective date. The adoption of ASC 842 resulted in the recording of operating lease assets and operating lease liabilities of $5.7 billion and $6.6 billion, respectively, as of February 3, 2019. The adoption of ASC 842 did not have a material impact to our Condensed Consolidated Statement of Income or Condensed Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows.
Earnings per Share
The company updated its reported diluted earnings per share guidance for fiscal year 2019 to be in the range of $2.04 to $2.14. The company expects its as adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.05 to $2.15.
The company now expects comparable sales for fiscal year 2019 to be down low single digits.
Effective Tax Rate
The company expects its reported fiscal year 2019 effective tax rate to be about 27%. Excluding certain non-cash tax impacts related to expected restructuring charges, the company expects its adjusted fiscal year 2019 effective tax rate to be about 26%. The effective tax rate may be materially impacted as additional guidance related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is issued by the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service.
The company continues to expect to repurchase approximately $50 million per quarter through the end of fiscal year 2019.
The company now expects capital spending to be approximately $675 million for fiscal year 2019, which includes about $100 million of expansion costs related to a headquarters building and a buildout of its Ohio distribution center.
The company now expects to close about 30 company-operated stores, net of openings and repositions in fiscal year 2019. The updated guidance reflects about 10 additional store openings for both Old Navy and Athleta. This guidance also includes about 130 closures related to the Gap brand fleet restructuring, the majority of which are expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. The company expects store openings to be focused on Old Navy, Athleta and Gap China locations.
Webcast and Conference Call Information
Tina Romani, Senior Director of Investor Relations at Gap Inc., will host a summary of the company’s first quarter fiscal year 2019 results during a conference call and webcast from approximately 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time today. Ms. Romani will be joined by Art Peck, Gap Inc. president and chief executive officer, and Teri List-Stoll, Gap Inc. executive vice president and chief financial officer.
The conference call can be accessed by calling 1-855-5000-GPS or 1-855-500-0477 (participant passcode: 2858773). International callers may dial 1-323-794-2078. The webcast can be accessed at www.gapinc.com.
This press release and related conference call and webcast contain forward-looking statements within the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than those that are purely historical are forward-looking statements. Words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” and similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding the following: earnings per share for first half and the full year of fiscal year 2019; comparable sales for fiscal year 2019; effective tax rate for fiscal year 2019; impact of additional guidance related to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017; share repurchases per quarter through fiscal year 2019; capital expenditures for fiscal year 2019; store openings and closings, net of closures and repositions, and weighting by brand in fiscal year 2019; improvement in Gap brand’s margin trend in fiscal year 2019; dividends and share repurchases in fiscal year 2019; unit inventory comparables in the second quarter and back half of fiscal 2019; sequential improvement in profitability throughout fiscal year 2019; impact from foreign exchange; investing prudently in technology and supply chain initiatives; net sales in fiscal 2019; spread between comparable sales and net sales growth in fiscal 2019; comparable sales and margin trends in the second half of fiscal year 2019; and the benefits, impact and timing of completion of the separation transaction.
Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, without limitation, the following risks, any of which could have an adverse effect on the company’s financial condition, results of operations, and reputation: the risk that additional information may arise during the company’s close process or as a result of subsequent events that would require the company to make adjustments to its financial information; the risks associated with our plan to separate into two independent publicly-traded companies, including that the separation may not be completed in accordance with the expected plans or anticipated timeframe, or at all; the risk that our plan to separate into two publicly-traded companies may not achieve some or all of the anticipated benefits; the risk that the company or its franchisees will be unsuccessful in gauging apparel trends and changing consumer preferences; the highly competitive nature of the company’s business in the United States and internationally; the risk of failure to maintain, enhance and protect the company’s brand image; the risk of failure to attract and retain key personnel, or effectively manage succession; the risk that the company’s investments in customer, digital, and omni-channel shopping initiatives may not deliver the results the company anticipates; the risk if the company is unable to manage its inventory effectively; the risk that the company is subject to data or other security breaches that may result in increased costs, violations of law, significant legal and financial exposure, and a loss of confidence in the company’s security measures; the risk that a failure of, or updates or changes to, the company’s information technology systems may disrupt its operations; the risks to the company’s business, including its costs and supply chain, associated with global sourcing and manufacturing; the risk of changes in global economic conditions or consumer spending patterns; the risks to the company’s efforts to expand internationally, including its ability to operate in regions where it has less experience; the risks to the company’s reputation or operations associated with importing merchandise from foreign countries, including failure of the company’s vendors to adhere to its Code of Vendor Conduct; the risk that the company’s franchisees’ operation of franchise stores is not directly within the company’s control and could impair the value of its brands; the risk that the company or its franchisees will be unsuccessful in identifying, negotiating, and securing new store locations and renewing, modifying, or terminating leases for existing store locations effectively; the risk of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; the risk that comparable sales and margins will experience fluctuations; the risk that changes in the company’s credit profile or deterioration in market conditions may limit the company’s access to the capital markets; the risk that trade matters could increase the cost or reduce the supply of apparel available to the company; the risk of changes in the regulatory or administrative landscape; the risk of natural disasters, public health crises, political crises, negative global climate patterns, or other catastrophic events; the risk of reductions in income and cash flow from the company’s credit card arrangement related to its private label and co-branded credit cards; the risk that the adoption of new accounting pronouncements will impact future results; the risk that the company does not repurchase some or all of the shares it anticipates purchasing pursuant to its repurchase program; and the risk that the company will not be successful in defending various proceedings, lawsuits, disputes, and claims.
Additional information regarding factors that could cause results to differ can be found in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2019, as well as the company’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
These forward-looking statements are based on information as of May 30, 2019. The company assumes no obligation to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, Janie and Jack, and Hill City brands. Fiscal year 2018 net sales were $16.6 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase in more than 90 countries worldwide through company-operated stores, franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.
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1 The translation impact on net sales is calculated by applying foreign exchange rates applicable for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019 to net sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. This is done to enhance the visibility of underlying sales trends, excluding the impact of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.
2 In estimating the earnings per share impact from foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, the company estimates current gross margins using the appropriate prior year rates (including the impact of merchandise-related hedges), translates current period foreign earnings at prior year rates, and excludes the year-over-year earnings impact of balance sheet remeasurement and gains or losses from non-merchandise-related foreign currency hedges. This is done in order to enhance the visibility of business results excluding the direct impact of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.