Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS) was the target of a large drop in short interest in October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 35,210,000 shares, a drop of 9.9% from the September 30th total of 39,070,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 8,010,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 4.4 days. Approximately 16.0% of the shares of the stock are short sold.

Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the company. Deutsche Bank reduced their price objective on GAP from $17.00 to $15.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, November 8th. Barclays assumed coverage on GAP in a research note on Tuesday, November 12th. They set an “underweight” rating and a $14.00 price objective for the company. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $16.00 price objective (down from $20.00) on shares of GAP in a research note on Friday, November 8th. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their target price on GAP from $19.00 to $16.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 8th. Finally, ValuEngine raised GAP from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $19.07.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC bought a new position in shares of GAP in the third quarter worth about $251,000. SG Americas Securities LLC grew its position in GAP by 180.1% during the third quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 946,585 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $16,433,000 after buying an additional 608,587 shares in the last quarter. First Trust Advisors LP grew its position in GAP by 25.0% during the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,456,755 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $25,289,000 after buying an additional 291,513 shares in the last quarter. Mackay Shields LLC grew its position in GAP by 5.3% during the third quarter. Mackay Shields LLC now owns 34,020 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $590,000 after buying an additional 1,698 shares in the last quarter. Finally, IFM Investors Pty Ltd grew its position in GAP by 41.0% during the third quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd now owns 21,491 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $373,000 after buying an additional 6,247 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 58.68% of the company’s stock.

Shares of GAP stock traded down $0.44 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $17.30. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 5,176,343 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,385,167. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.68, a PEG ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 0.71. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $17.08 and a 200-day simple moving average of $18.45. The company has a quick ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 1.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.90. GAP has a 1-year low of $15.11 and a 1-year high of $31.39.

GAP (NYSE:GPS) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 22nd. The apparel retailer reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.52 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $4.01 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.02 billion. GAP had a return on equity of 24.53% and a net margin of 5.71%. GAP’s revenue was down 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.76 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that GAP will post 1.73 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, January 29th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.2425 per share. This represents a $0.97 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 5.61%. GAP’s dividend payout ratio is 37.45%.

About GAP

The Gap, Inc operates as an apparel retail company worldwide. The company offers apparel, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, and Hill City brands. Its products include denim, tees, button-downs, khakis, and other products; and fitness and lifestyle products for use in yoga, training, sports, travel, and everyday activities to women and girls.

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