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Limited Posts Weak Quarter

Shares are hit as the retailer lowers guidance.
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Shares of

Limited Brands


were hammered Monday after the retailer reported a 76% decline in first-quarter earnings and guided estimates lower for the rest of the year.

The operator of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works earned $23.1 million, or 6 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $96.6 million, or 19 cents a share, a year ago. At $1.98 billion, sales were unchanged from a year ago. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 11 cents a share on sales of $1.98 billion.

Same-store sales fell 5% in the latest quarter from a year ago.

For the second quarter, Limited expects to earn 23 cents to 25 cents a share, compared with the Thomson First Call consensus estimate of 29 cents a share. For the full year, the company expects to earn $1.41 a share, compared with the consensus estimate of $1.51 a share.

Limited said it authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million in common stock. The company said it recently completed a separate $100 million buyback.

The stock was off 58 cents, or 2.8%, to $19.85 in premarket trading.