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Gap stock spikes after strong sales report

March 7, 2013: 2:31 PM ET

Shares of Gap Inc. jumped after the apparel company reported healthy sales growth in February.

Gap (GPS) stock was briefly halted after the numbers were inadvertently released ahead of schedule due to a "vendor error," according to a Gap spokesperson. Shares rose 3% after trading resumed.

The report was set to be released after the market closed, but a transcript of a pre-recorded conference call detailing the sales growth was accidentally posted online by a vendor early Thursday.

Until recently, Gap has announced its monthly sales data before the market opened, but the company changed its policy this fiscal year, and now reports after the market close. Apparently, someone did not get the memo.

The snafu did not go unnoticed by traders on StockTwits.

Could this be a Uniqlo transaction??? $GPS

Nice try bradloncar. But not quite.

Looking at $GPS volume and options volume looks like this was already leaked...

Gap $GPS rev rises in Feb on strength at Gap, Old Navy; transcript leaks ahead of release: Quote

Despite the awkward way in which the news came out, investors seemed pleased with Gap's sales growth in February.

Shares were briefly halted, until Gap confirmed the strong sales

Gap said sales at stores open at least a year, a metric known as same store sales, rose 3% in February, after accounting for changes in the company's fiscal year. That's better than the 2% most analysts were expecting. Net sales rose 11% in the month.

Most retailers on script saying Feb ended much stronger than began due to less weather, payroll check issues $COST $LTD $WMT $GPS

Good point. Investors have been concerned that retail sales could lose momentum as higher payroll taxes start to hit consumer spending. But, overall same store sales were slightly better than expected in February.

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Ben Rooney
Ben Rooney
Staff writer, CNNMoney

Ben Rooney is a staff writer for CNNMoney. He covers the European debt crisis and other international finance stories, in addition to writing about stocks, bonds, investing and other Wall Street-related news. Follow Ben on Twitter: @ben_rooney

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