Aug 20, 2009
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Limited Brands beats estimates, shares rise

Aug 20, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Limited Brands Inc (LTD.N) posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday 19 August, sending shares of the operator of the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works chains up nearly 3 percent.

All new body by Victoria® demi wireless, unlined full coverage, and full coverage bras - Photo: Victoria's Secret

Net income for the retailer's second quarter fell 27 percent to $74.3 million, or 23 cents per share, from $102.0 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were 19 cents in the quarter, above the 16 cents per share expected on average by analysts, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company in May said it expected a range between 11 cents to 16 cents per share.

Revenue fell 9.5 percent to $2.07 billion, the company said, with a 9 percent decline in same-store sales, which measure sales at stores open at least a year.

Results from the Columbus, Ohio-based company -- which also operates posh department store Henri Bendel and the La Senza, C.O. Bigelow and the White Barn Candle Co chains -- have been pressured by lower mall traffic and weak consumer spending.

But the company has been cutting costs, reducing inventory and its capital expenditures budget in order to streamline the organization, which includes over 3,000 stores.

Looking to the third-quarter, Limited said it expects a loss per share of 7 cents to 12 cents.

For the full year, the company expects adjusted earnings to range between 75 cents and 90 cents per share. It was not clear what items were excluded in that forecast.

An earlier outlook called for fiscal 2009 earnings per share to range between 67 cents and 87 cents per share.

Shares of Limited Brands rose as much as 2.9 percent to $15 in after-hours trade after closing on the New York Stock Exchange up 4.4 percent to $14.58.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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