Retail conglomerate

Limited Brands

(LTD)

Thursday reported lower third-quarter earnings, but managed to match analysts' expectations, as revenue and same-store sales edged up.

The company posted net income of $78.3 million, or 16 cents a share, compared with $129.3 million, or 25 cents a share, in the year-ago period. The year-ago quarter includes 20 cents a share in gains from assets. The most recent quarter include gains of 9 cents a share, relating to a tax settlement and the IPO of

New York & Company

(NWY)

.

On an adjusted basis, net income came in at $49.7 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with $44.3 million, or 8 cents last year. Analysts were expecting 10 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

Revenue rose to $1.89 billion from $1.85 billion a year ago. Same-store sales for the quarter ended Oct. 30, 2004 increased 1%.

Looking ahead, the company "remains comfortable" with its previous estimate for adjusted full-year EPS of $1.35 to $1.42 and 85 cents to 92 cents in the fourth quarter, excluding items. The consensus forecasts are for $1.40 and 96 cents, respectively.

In the second quarter, Columbus, Ohio-based Limited beat expectations by earning $148 million, or 31 cents a share, in the quarter ended July 31, compared with $102 million, or 19 cents a share, in the same quarter last year. On an adjusted basis, earnings in the most recent quarter were $137.3 million, or 29 cents a share.

Shares ended at $27.10 Wednesday.