Limited Brands Inc.
), a specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel,
beauty and personal care products, posted comparable-store sales
growth of 3% for the four-week period ended Mar 2, 2013, that
betters analysts' expectations.
However, we observe that the rate of growth in comps for this
Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock decelerated from an increase of 9% in
Jan 2013 and 8% in Feb 2012. Management now projects
comparable-store sales to rise in the low single-digit in Mar
2013 before adjusting for the impact of the calendar shift in
Comparable-store sales for February increased 5% at Victoria's
Secret Stores & Victoria's Secret Beauty, 5% at La Senza but
remained flat at Bath & Body Works & The White Barn
Candle Co. However, sales dropped by 4% at Victoria's Secret
Limited Brands, which competes with Hanesbrands Inc., said
that net sales for February surged 9% to $712.7 million from
$653.9 million posted in the comparable prior-year month.
As a whole, Feb 2013 was tough for most retailers as
macroeconomic factors including increase in fuel and energy
costs, higher payroll taxes and delay in tax refunds coupled with
unfavorable weather conditions hindered consumer spending and in
turn adversely affected the growth and profitability of
Comparable-store sales for companies like
Ross Stores Inc.
) witnessed a decline of 8.9%, 1.1% and 1%, respectively.
Limited Brands' Bath & Body Works segment is gaining
traction, driven by a rise in store transactions, enhancement in
the direct channel business and new stores. Victoria's Secret
Stores have been performing well, and the company is revamping
its La Senza brand alongside.
Limited Brands is keen on augmenting its retail footprint
across the globe by expanding aggressively in Canada and other
international markets. Moreover, the company's strong liquidity
positions it for growth and higher returns. However, stiff
competition and erratic consumer behavior still remain matters of
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