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Shares of Victoria's Secret-parent L Brands, Inc. (NYSE: LB) were getting shredded today after the retailer turned in disappointing guidance in its second-quarter earnings report. The stock was down 9.2% at 12:42 p.m. EDT.
L Brands' results were actually better than expectations, but weak guidance sent the stock heading to six-year lows.
Management said overall comparable sales fell 8%, though they would have been down 2% adjusting for the exit from the swim and apparel business at Victoria's Secret. At Victoria's Secret, comps sunk 14%, which would have been 5% after the adjustment. Both results were below the company's guidance.
Overall revenue declined 4.6% to $2.76 billion, meeting expectations. On the bottom line, adjusted earnings per share declined from $0.70 to $0.48, which topped the consensus of $0.44.
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Demand for Victoria's Secret products seems to be falling as consumers visit local malls less frequently -- and because of competition from chains like American Eagle Outfitters' Aerie, which have been more on trend with the rise of bralettes. Performance at secondary chain Bath & Body Works was stronger, as comps were up 6%.
Due to the weak comparable-sales results, L Brands lowered its full-year earnings-per-share guidance from a range of $3.10 to $3.40 down to a range of $3.00 to $3.20, and also called for quarterly earnings of just $0.25 to $0.30 per share. Analysts had expected EPS of $3.23 for the year and $0.36 for the current quarter.
Clearly any potential turnaround is not yet materializing, as the stock is now down 46%, following a weak performance last year. While shares may look cheap, I'd avoid the stock until earnings and comps stabilize.
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