L Brands Rising After Analyst Upgrade of Victoria's Secret Parent

Bath & Body Works has emerged as a growth leader for L Brands, while Victoria's Secret may be in the beginning stages of an 'image overhaul,' according to an analyst at Bank of America.
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Investors snapped up shares of L Brands (LB) - Get Report Friday after a vote of confidence by a top industry analyst in the corporate parent of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works.

Shares of L Brands shot up 8.44% to $18.89 a share after an analyst at Bank of America boosted her rating on the retailer's stock to buy from neutral.

The analyst, Lorraine Hutchinson, also hiked her price target on L Brands to $25 a share, up from $21 previously, according to Bloomberg.

The analyst noted that Bath & Body Works has emerged as a growth leader for L Brands, while Victoria's Secret, which has been plagued by falling sales, may be in the early stages of an "image overhaul."

Among other things, Victoria's Secret has pulled the plug on its annual fashion show, signed up a transgender model, and relaunched its line of swimwear, a move that comes just three years after it got out of the business, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Hutchinson, in her note, also cited the potential for a spinoff of Bath & Body Works by L Brands, citing the potential to create additional value.

Analysts at Bank of America weren't the only ones taking another look at L Brands, with Wells Fargo having recently put the retailer on its list of its top stocks for 2020. Analysts at the firm also cited the potential for a spinoff of BBW, calling it "one of the strongest concepts in the mall."

Seven analysts now have buy ratings on L Brands, compared to four with sell recommendations and 17 with holds, according to Bloomberg.