L Brands, Inc.
) formerly known as Limited Brands, posted comparable-store sales
growth of 2% for the four-week period ended May 4, 2013. This
specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel, beauty
and personal care products showcased a disappointing
We observe that the rate of comps growth in April for this
Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock fell by 100 basis points with that of
March and February but decelerated sharply from an increase of 9%
in Jan 2013. Management now projects comparable-store sales to
rise in the low single-digit for the month of May.
Comparable-store sales for April increased 2% at Victoria's
Secret Stores & Victoria's Secret Beauty, 2% at La Senza and
4% at Bath & Body Works & The White Barn Candle Co.
However, sales dropped 4% at Victoria's Secret Direct.
Limited Brands said that net sales for April rose marginally
to $660.5 million from $659 million posted in the comparable
For the thirteen-week period ended May 4, 2013,
comparable-store sales jumped 3%, whereas net sales rose 5% to
$2,268 million from $2,154 million in the year-ago period.
As a whole, most retailers were able to put up a decent
comparable-store sales performance for the month of April,
despite challenges arising from higher Social Security Payroll
taxes, an unexpected cold weather, and political gridlock and
The TJX Companies, Inc.
Ross Stores Inc.
) witnessed comps increase of 8%, 7% and 6.2%, 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
Limited Brands, which is slated to release its first-quarter
fiscal 2013 results after the market closes on May 22, now
projects earnings of 46 cents a share in line with the Zacks
Consensus Estimate. Earlier, the company had forecasted earnings
between 40 cents and 45 cents a share for the quarter.
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