Business news

Gap outlook rises after good quarter


NEW YORK — Gap Inc. raised its earnings per share outlook for the year on Thursday, after its summer lineup helped boost second-quarter results and advanced its turnaround push.

The higher guidance was short of Wall Street expectations, but the company also increased its annual dividend by 20 cents, or 33 percent, to 80 cents per share. Its shares rose 1 percent to $42.43 in aftermarket trading. Over the past year, the stock was up 21 percent.

Gap Inc., which is based in San Francisco, owns Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and Intermix stores, in addition to its namesake chain.

Last October, the company announced a management overhaul to help it respond more quickly to shifting tastes around the world.

Sears loss widens amid more struggle

NEW YORK — It was another bad quarter for Sears Holdings Corp.

The beleaguered retailer, which operates Kmart and Sears stores, said Thursday that its second-quarter loss widened as the company continued to struggle with weak sales and deep discounts.

The results were also hurt by the decline in the number of stores in operation and the lingering effects from its spinoff of the Hometown and Outlet brand.

Shares fell over 8 percent to close down $3.55 at $39.72 on Thursday. The stock’s now back near the 52-week low of $38.40 that it hit at the end of 2012.