Published May 21, 2014
L Brands Inc.'s (LB) fiscal first-quarter profit rose 10% as the retailer reported higher sales at both its Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret brands.
The company, formerly called Limited Brands Inc., lowered the top of its full-year earnings outlook range by five cents, saying it now expects earnings of $3.00 to $3.15 a share, compared to its prior forecast for full-year earnings between $3.00 and $3.20 a share. The updated outlook includes a negative effect of 10 cents to 12 cents a share related to the company's exit from certain non-core categories in the Victoria's Secret direct and beauty businesses.
For the fiscal second quarter, the company forecast per-share earnings of 57 cents to 62 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting per-share earnings of 61 cents.
The retailer, which operates the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works chains, dominates the intimate-apparel and personal-care markets, though growth for the company's major store formats slowed last year.
Overall, L Brands reported a profit of $156.9 million, or 53 cents a share, up from $142.5 million, or 48 cents a share, a year earlier.
Earlier this month, the company boosted its earnings outlook, saying it expected to post per-share earnings of 50 cents to 52 cents for the most recent quarter.
The company at that time also reported that sales rose 5% to $2.39 billion for the quarter, topping the $2.38 billion expected by analysts. Same-store sales, meanwhile, edged up 2% for the same period.
By brand, same-store sales rose 2% at both Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works during the latest quarter.
Gross margin narrowed to 41.1% from 41.5%.
Shares of the company edged down six cents to $55.80 in after-hours trading. Through Wednesday's close, the stock has risen 7.5% in the last 12 months.