May 17, 2012
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Limited Brands Q1 profit beats, shares fall on view

May 17, 2012

Limited Brands Inc (LTD.N), parent of the Victoria's Secret lingerie store chain, posted a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street's view but its shares fell 3.5 percent after its forecast for the current quarter fell short of analysts' expectations.

Victoria's Secret

The Columbus, Ohio-based company forecast second-quarter earnings of 40 cents to 45 cents per share, below analysts' average forecast for earnings of 50 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company, which also operates the Bath & Body Works and La Senza chains as well as luxury retailer Henri Bendel, on Wednesday reported first-quarter net profit of $124.6 million, or 41 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected the company, on average, to earn 40 cents per share in latest quarter.

Limited Brands reported a profit of $165.2 million, or 50 cents per share, in the year-earlier quarter. That result included a 10-cent per share gain from special items.

Net sales slipped to $2.15 billion from $2.22 billion in the first quarter a year ago, which included $214 million in sales from the company's third-party apparel sourcing business that was sold in November.

Same-store sales, a gauge of retail health, increased 7 percent in the first quarter that ended April 28.

Limited Brands, which has outperformed most of its peers over the last year, historically has set expectations low.

Shares of Limited Brands fell to $46.30 in extended trading from their close of $47.96.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee in Chicago and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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