L Brands Rise Modestly on Comps Gain - Analyst Blog


Shares of L Brands, Inc. ( LB ) were moderately up by 0.5% following better-than-expected comparable-store sales performance for February. However, it is to be noted that the comparable-store sales growth rate of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock decelerated sharply on a sequential basis. After a 9% increase registered in January, comps of this specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel rose 2% for the four-week period ended Mar 1, 2014.

Net sales climbed 5.2% to $750 million from $712.7 million in the prior-year period.

The ice storms due to the polar vortex, which hit a major part of the U.S. in January and February, prevented shoppers from venturing outdoors and consequently, hurt the business of retailers. However improved weather in late February coupled with government's tax refunds helped some retailers to emerge strongly, such as Costco Wholesale Corp. ( COST ) and Zumiez Inc. ( ZUMZ ) both of which posted comps growth of 2%.

Coming to L Brands, comparable-store sales for February grew 2% at Victoria's Secret Stores & Victoria's Secret Beauty and 1% at Bath & Body Works & The White Barn Candle Co. Sales inched up 1% at Victoria's Secret Direct.

With Easter falling in April this year compared with last year, management anticipates comparable-store sales for March to be negatively impacted and to range between flat to the low-single digits. However, comps for the combined March/April period are projected to increase in the low single-digit range. 

L Brands, which competes with The Gap, Inc. ( GPS ), currently operates about 2,919 stores.

COSTCO WHOLE CP (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report

GAP INC (GPS): Free Stock Analysis Report

ZUMIEZ INC (ZUMZ): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: COST , GPS , ZUMZ



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