Back to top

Analyst Blog

Shares of L Brands, Inc. (LB - Analyst Report) rose 5.4% following impressive comparable-store sales performance for the month of January that bettered analysts’ expectation. After a 2% increase registered in December, comps of this specialty retailer of women’s intimate and other apparel rose 9% for the four-week period ended Feb 1, 2014.

However, net sales of this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) stock witnessed a sharp drop of 25.9% to $731.2 million from $986.4 million in the prior-year period.

The holiday season was a tough one, while some make their way out, others struggled to lure budget-constrained consumers. Consumer spending environment was not very convincing, and bargain hunters went from one shop to another to grab the best deal. After a dismal holiday season, severe weather conditions dampened consumers’ spirit and restrained them from mall visits. Despite these challenges, L Brands managed to deliver healthy comps.

Other retailers that performed surprisingly well include Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST - Analyst Report), Walgreen Co. (WAG - Analyst Report) and The Gap, Inc. (GPS - Analyst Report) posting comparable-store sales growth of 4%, 2.9% and 1%, respectively.

Coming to Limited Brands, comparable-store sales for January grew 10% at Victoria’s Secret Stores & Victoria’s Secret Beauty, 6% at Bath & Body Works & The White Barn Candle Co. and 4% at La Senza. However, sales declined 12% at Victoria’s Secret Direct.

For the 13-week period ended Feb 1, comparable-store sales climbed 1% compared with the 5% jump experienced in the prior-year period. Net sales for the period grew 1% to $3,818 million from $3,856 million in the year-ago period.

Management now projects total comparable-store sales ranging from flat to the low-single-digits for February.

Limited Brands, which is slated to release fourth-quarter fiscal 2013 results after the market closes on Feb 26, now projects earnings to be marginally ahead of its earlier provided guidance of $1.60 per share. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is $1.61.

The company currently operates about 2,923 stores.

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
PLANAR SYST… PLNR 4.44 +5.21%
BITAUTO HOL… BITA 81.71 +5.12%
CTPARTNERS… CTP 16.66 +4.26%
CHINA BIOLO… CBPO 47.91 +3.30%
MALLINCKROD… MNK 72.94 +2.85%