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By
Reuters
Published
May 19, 2011
Reading time
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Limited Brands outlook falls short; shares slip

By
Reuters
Published
May 19, 2011

May 18 - Limited Brands Inc reported slightly better-than-expected first-quarter results, but gave an earnings outlook that was largely below estimates.

Limited Brands
Victoria's Secret (Limited Brands group)

The operator of the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works chains has enjoyed a spurt of strong same-store sales as the recovering economy is leading consumers to spend again on things like lingerie and body creams.

It reported a 15 percent increase in sales at stores open at least a year in the first quarter, and a 20 percent increase in April, blowing past analysts' estimates.

The company said on Wednesday that net profit was $165.2 million, or 50 cents per share, in the quarter, up from $112.5 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were 40 cents per share. On that basis, analysts on average were expecting 39 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales rose to $2.22 billion from $1.93 billion a year earlier. Analysts expected $2.18 billion.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 15 percent.

The company said it expects adjusted earnings of 38 cents to 43 cents per share for the second quarter, a range that falls below analysts' average estimate of 43 cents per share.

For the full year, Limited raised its forecast to a range of $2.25 to $2.45 per share, from a prior forecast of $2.15 to $2.35 per share. But the new forecast was still below analysts' estimate of $2.44 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Limited shares were off 0.7 percent at $42.15 in afterhours trade.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Bernard Orr, Gary Hill)

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