L Brands Tops Estimates as Victoria’s Secret Operating Income Doubles

Clothing and household goods retailer offers positive guidance for first quarter on rebound from year-ago coronavirus closures.
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L Brands, Inc.  (LB) - Get Report reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and offered upbeat first-quarter guidance after the closing bell on Wednesday, as operating income more than doubled at its Victoria’s Secret unit.

The company posted adjusted earnings of $3.03 a share on revenue of $4.818 billion. L Brands had been expected to report adjusted net income of $813.1 million, or $2.91 a share, on sales of $4.9 billion, based on a FactSet survey of 23 analysts. In the same period a year ago the company posted earnings of $1.88 a share on sales of $4.7 billion.

Earlier this month, the company had guided for earnings per share of $2.95 to $3.00.

Victoria’s Secret adjusted fourth-quarter operating income increased $209.8 million, or 108%, to $403.4 million during the period, the company said.

“We experienced consistent strength at Bath & Body Works along with continued significant improvement in performance at Victoria’s Secret,” said CEO Andrew Meslow in a statement. “We continue to move ahead in our plans to separate our two businesses. As a result of the collective initiatives underway, the company is well positioned to continue driving value for our shareholders,” he added.

L Brands forecasted first-quarter earnings per share of 35 cents to 45 cents. It declined to offer full-year guidance, citing continued economic uncertainty and the expected separation of the Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret business in August.

Shares of L Brands rose $2.36, or 4.6%, to $54.01 in after-hours trading Wednesday. In the regular session the stock rose 1.1%.