) shares fell after announcing that CEO Millard Drexler will retire. Thomas Weisel keeps a market perform rating on the stock.
Analyst Anne-Marie Peterson says while Drexler will stay on for some time, the search for a successor has begun. She views management change as a step in the right direction, but thinks it signifies an admission of depth of the problems that GPS faces beyond merchandise. She thinks it also calls into question the bull case of a second half of fiscal year 2003 merchandise-led turnaround.
She says there more questions than answers: such as who will new management be and what is the turnaround strategy. Lack of EPS visibility remains, she says, while its balance sheet is not in great shape. The stock looks fully valued, she says.