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Analyst Blog

L Brands, Inc. posted flat comparable-store sales for the five-week period ended Jul 6, 2013.

This specialty retailer of women’s intimate and other apparel, beauty and personal care products showcased a 2.2% rise in net sales of $1,101 million from $1,077 million in the prior-year period.

Besides Limited Brands, other retail chains that posted comparable-store sales data for the month of June, include clothing chain, The Gap, Inc. (GPS - Analyst Report) that registered comps growth of 7%, off-price retailer of apparels, footwear and accessories Stein Mart Inc. (SMRT - Snapshot Report) delivered comparable-store sales growth of 6.5%, while discount store operator Fred's, Inc. (FRED - Analyst Report) registered a 4.5% rise in comps.

A recovery in the housing market, stock prices gaining momentum, improving labor market, lower gas prices and favorable weather conditions played vital roles in raising consumer confidence. These positives aided retailers, which also resorted to clearance discounts to generate healthy sales for the month under review.

However, Limited Brands’ less competitive pricing strategy led to a decline in clearance sales and impacted the results. Comparable-store sales for June fell 1% at Victoria’s Secret Stores & Victoria’s Secret Beauty, remained flat at La Senza but rose 2% at Bath & Body Works & The White Barn Candle Co. Sales dipped 9% at Victoria’s Secret Direct. Management now projects total comparable-store sales to rise in the low single-digit for the month of July.

For the twenty-two week period ended Jul 6, 2013, comparable-store sales increased 2%, whereas net sales rose 5.2% to $4,106 million from $3,903 million in the year-ago period.

Currently, Limited Brands holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).