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Intimate Brands


said Tuesday that it met Wall Street's lowered earnings estimates for the fiscal fourth quarter.

The company said earnings, excluding special items, totaled 46 cents a share, matching the consensus estimate from analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

. The company earned 55 cents in the year-ago period.

Earlier this month, Intimate Brands, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, said fourth-quarter earnings should check in between 48 cents and 55 cents a share. In January, the company, which operates the

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chains, said it expected fourth-quarter earnings of 44 cents to 48 cents. Analysts had been calling for earnings of 59 cents a share. At the time, Intimate Brands said it was "unhappy with holiday results" and planned to implement "expense reduction initiatives."

Sales for the 14-week period totaled $1.94 billion, up from $1.84 billion for the 13-week fourth quarter last year. Same-store sales fell 3% for the quarter. Operating income totaled $387.3 million, down 18% from $470.8 million in the same period last year. Net income was $227.5 million, also down 18% from last year.

"Obviously the fourth quarter of 2000 was a major disappointment for us," the company said in a statement. "Given the U.S. economic situation, we are planning for modest profit growth in 2001, and we are expecting the first three quarters of the year to be particularly challenging."

Shares of Intimate Brands fell 84 cents, or 5%, to $16.11 in

New York Stock Exchange

trading. The company reported earnings after the bell.



owns about 84% of Intimate Brands.