Gap Q4 outlook tops expectations amid strong January

San Francisco -- Gap Inc. posted strong sales for January and issued a fourth-quarter profit forecast that topped expectations.

The retailer said its same-store sales rose 1% in January. Analysts had expected a drop of 1.3%. Net sales for the four weeks that ended Feb. 1 were $899 million, compared with net sales of $1.13 billion for the five-week period ended Feb. 2, 2013.

For the fourth quarter, net sales were $4.58 billion, compared with $4.73 billion a year earlier.

This year's January and fourth quarter had one less week than last year's.

"We're pleased to deliver a strong finish to the year, with another month and quarter of comp sales growth," said chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy in a statement.

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