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Gap shares shrink on CEO's surprise exit, weakened full-year guidance

The decision comes in the middle of a process to spin-off the Old Navy brand and shutter 230 Gap stores

Gap store
Non-executive Chairman Robert Fisher is replacing outgoing CEO Art Peck on an interim basis

The Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) shares took a dip on Friday after a surprise announcement from CEO Art Peck that he is leaving the company. 

The unexpected decision came alongside a corporate update from the apparel company after the Thursday close, which revealed a dramatic cut in full-year guidance. 

The company now expects full-year earnings to come in at between $1.70 and $1.75 per share, well below its estimate of between $2.05 and $2.15 a quarter earlier. Analysts are expecting $2.07 per share. 

Investors reacted swiftly, with Gap shares dropping 6.3% lower to $16.95.

Earlier his year, Gap said it planned to spin-off its more successful Old Navy brand, according to a Reuters report, and Peck was expected to lead the new Gap Inc.

The company plans to close 230 Gap stores, a process expected to be completed in 2020, with non-executive chairman Robert Fisher taking the reins on an interim basis.

In its corporate update, the company revealed comparable sales dips for Gap - which was down 7% globally in the third quarter for the second straight year - as well as Banana Republic and Old Navy.

“This was a challenging quarter, as macro impacts and slower traffic further pressured results that have been hampered by-product and operating challenges across key brands,” CFO Teri List-Stoll said in a statement.

“We have tremendous confidence in our brands and the talented organization that supports them, and we are seeing progress in some key areas. However, there is more work to do to leverage the capabilities we have invested in and deliver the profitable growth we know these brands are capable of delivering.”

Third-quarter earnings, which Gap will report on November 21, are expected to be between $0.50 and $0.52. Analysts are calling for $0.55.

Contact Andrew Kessel at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Quick facts: Gap Inc

Price: 15.15 USD

NYSE:GPS
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $5.66 billion
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