Victoria's Secret parent L Brands' 2Q profit grows

Victoria's Secret owner L Brands ups outlook after 2Q profit growth, but forecast disappoints

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- L Brands Inc. said Wednesday that its fiscal second-quarter profit rose 25 percent on improved sales and the owner of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works raised its forecast for the year.

But its guidance was still mostly below Wall Street's view, and its outlook for the current quarter fell short. Shares were lower in aftermarket trading. It's the latest in a string of muted outlooks from retailers.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company, formerly known as Limited Brands Inc., reported net income of $178.9 million, or 61 cents per share, for the quarter that ended Aug. 3. That topped analyst expectations by a penny and was up from earnings of $143.6 million, or 49 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

Revenue increased 5 percent to $2.52 billion, matching the prediction of analysts polled by FactSet. Its revenue from its stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores, increased 2 percent.

The company, which also owns the brands Pink, Henri Bendel and La Senza, now expects earnings of $3.06 to $3.21 per share for the year, up from its prior forecast of $2.95 to $3.15 per share. That's still mostly below analysts' prediction of $3.21 per share. L Brands anticipates earning 23 to 28 cents per share for the current quarter, short of analysts' forecast for 29 cents per share.

L Brands operates 2,629 stores in the U.S. and its brands are sold in additional locations worldwide.

Investors showed some disappointment with the soft third-quarter forecast. Shares fell $1.15, or 1.9 percent, to $58.70 in after-hours trading. They had closed down 51 cents at $59.85 Wednesday.

Shares of other retailers have suffered in recent weeks. Target on Wednesday cut its outlook, following in the tracks of Macy's, Wal-Mart and Kohl's, as consumers spend cautiously.

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