Gap’s stock gapped up Thursday, after hours, by as much as 10 percent, while opening early on Friday (Jan. 6) up about 3 percent to about $23.86.
The firm said its comparable sales were up 4 percent in December, with what Fortune said marked a “strong finish to a very competitive holiday season.”
One key driver was strength in the Old Navy brand, which as a lower-priced brand also is among the biggest divisions for the company. In this segment, same-store sales were up 12 percent, better than most had been expecting, and possibly a turnaround in the wake of management departures that marked the end of 2015.
But as Fortune also noted, “the retailer is hardly out of the woods” as the flagship Gap brand showed comp store gains of about 1 percent. Banana Republic, part of this segment, was off 7 percent.
Taken together, the last few months at Gap show 2 percent gains in same-store sales, its first quarterly gain in two years, should January also show gains (the quarter ends this month).