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Gap Inc. raises guidance sales, EPS growth in Q1

SAN FRANCISCO — Gap Inc. raised its full year guidance Thursday after reporting first quarter sales and earnings per share growth. For the quarter ended April 28, sales increased 6% to $3.5 billion compared with $3.3 billion for the first quarter last year. The company’s first quarter comparable sales increased 4%. Net income for the first quarter was $233 million, flat compared with the first quarter last year. First quarter diluted earnings per share increased 18% to 47 cents compared with 40 cents last year.

“During the quarter, we improved sales, grew earnings per share, and continued investing in the business to drive performance,” said Glenn Murphy, chairman and chief executive officer of Gap Inc. “We’re pleased with the progress we’re making against our 2012 priorities in both our domestic business and global growth initiatives.”

Given first quarter performance, the company has raised its estimate for fiscal year 2012 diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $1.78 to $1.83, representing a 14% to 17% increase over fiscal year 2011 diluted earnings per share of $1.56.