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Morgan Stanley downgrades Gap after weak first-quarter report, says stock has further downside


A rough first quarter for Gap could be just the start of a longer down period for the company, according to Morgan Stanley. Analyst Kimberly Greenberger downgraded Gap to underweight from neutral, saying that Thursday’s disappointing quarterly report showed a company with internal issues and a difficult consumer environment. “The 1Q22 EPS miss materialized, & updated FY guidance proves the downside EPS risk we’ve highlighted YTD has been well-founded. Consistent mis-execution & a likely decelerating macro/industry headwinds leaves room for further negative revision,” Greenberger wrote. Gap reported a loss of 44 cents per share, wider than the 13 cents expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv. The retailer also said it now expects revenue to fall year over year in the “low to mid-single digit range” in 2022. Morgan Stanley said that Gap may be forced to cut its full year guidance again in the coming months due to the issues facing the company. “We are moving back to Underweight on what we view as a potentially protracted period of depressed earnings & cash flow that could continue well into 2023e,” Greenberger wrote. Morgan Stanley cut its price target on Gap to $8 per share from $13. In premarket trading on Friday, shares of Gap were trading near $9 per share, down 19% from the prior close. Morgan Stanley was not the only major firm to downgrade Gap. JPMorgan also moved the stock to underweight after the earnings report. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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