Gap shares jump on breakout November sales report

Sale signs in the windows of a GAP store.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Sale signs in the windows of a GAP store.

Gap shares jumped on Thursday after the retailer reported a surprise increase in monthly sales, soaring past Wall Street expectations, with net sales totaling $1.72 billion.

Across its brands, the comp-store sales gained 6 percent last month, boosted by a 18 percent increase in sales at its lower priced Old Navy stores.

Analysts had forecast for same-store sales to fall 1.7 percent, according to Consensus Metrix. Old Navy sales were expected to rise just 1.6 percent, the consumer research firm said.

"Old Navy delivered standout performance in November, with customers responding positively to the brand's holiday assortment and marketing," said Glenn Murphy, CEO of Gap Inc. "With much of the holiday season still ahead, we remain focused on strong execution across all of our brands."

The apparel maker's namesake brand was the worst performer out of the bunch. Gap brand sales fell some 4 percent last month, less than the 5.6 percent decline analysts had predicted. Banana Republic sales rose 2 percent, compared with forecasts for a slight decline.

The stock jumped more than 4 percent in after-hours trading.