I know that reporting on the stock market can get a bit repetitive, but I am really starting to feel like a broken record here. Record? Scratch that. How about a skipping DVD?
I'm having to say the same things over and over again, OK?
Today, let's try a little quiz on Gap's
On July 6, Gap reported same-store-sales results that [missed, met, exceeded] Wall Street expectations. Comparable-store sales [rose, fell][x%] from the prior year's month. Sales at Banana Republic [rose, fell][x%], while sales at Gap and Old Navy [rose, fell][x%] and [x%], respectively. International [saved Gap's bacon, succeeded like a Frenchman's headbutt].
Take your time .
OK, pass your work to the person sitting behind you, and let's correct it all.
On July 6, Gap reported same-store sales results that missed Wall Street expectations. Comparable-store sales fell6% from the prior year's month. Sales at Banana Republic fell 4%, while sales at Gap and Old Navy fell 6% and 6.1%, respectively. International succeeded like a Frenchman's headbutt, dropping 14%.
If you've been following Gap at all, you know this was hardly a tough exam. Gap's sales have been in the tank for months, while comparable retail rivals such as Aeropostale
In other words, if your apparel company's sales stink, it's doing something wrong.
Of course, sales slides can be turned around, and indeed, those situations can make you a lot richer than buying into good retail growth at the tail end of the trend. But you need a real turnaround story.
Here's my problem with Gap. It's priced for 7% growth. That might look cheap, but Gap's "growth" has been backward for a while. To get a decent margin of safety from today's prices, I need to assume 14% growth. I don't see that coming.
In a few short weeks, we may know enough to make a better judgment. This is the make-or-break month for Gap. It's the time when management said it would deploy new marketing and jump-start this turnaround. Maybe that will happen.
But with apologies to my colleagues at Motley Fool Inside Value -- where the stock is a recommendation -- I won't be betting my own money on long-shot success from Gap. If there's evidence that the company turns things around, I'll be happy to buy a bit later, even if that means taking a higher price.
Gap is also a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection, along with American Eagle Outfitters.
Seth Jayson likes his Banana Republic jeans, but he'll pass on the stock. At the time of publication, he had shares of Guess? and American Eagle Outfitters but no positions in any other company mentioned. View his stock holdings and Fool profile here. Fool rules are here.