Victoria's Secret Propels Limited Brands

The retailer's earnings rise 19% and beat Wall Street's forecast.
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Strong sales from

Limited Brands'


Victoria's Secret division drove a 19% jump in first-quarter profits that beat Wall Street's expectations.

The retailer said after Wednesday's closing bell that it earned $99.4 million, or 25 cents a share, for the first quarter, up from $83.3 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings per share to be flat at 20 cents, according to Thomson First Call.

Limited's net sales rose 5.2% to $2.1 billion on a same-store-sales gain of 5%. Its Victoria's Secret segment, which accounted for more than half of the total first-quarter sales, posted 10% sales growth. The company also operates Bath & Body Works stores and an apparel segment, which includes The Limited and Express stores.

The retailer expects to earn 22 to 24 cents a share in the second quarter. Analysts were projecting earnings of 23 cents a share.

For the full year, Limited Brands sees earnings of $1.50 to $1.60 a share, in line with analysts' expectation of $1.53 a share.

The company's shares closed down 50 cents, or 1.9%, to $25.30 before the results were released.