Limited Brands Inc. Stock Hold Recommendation Reiterated (LTD)

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Limited Brands (NYSE: LTD) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a hold with a ratings score of C+ . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that net income has been generally deteriorating over time.

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Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • Compared to its closing price of one year ago, LTD's share price has jumped by 25.77%, exceeding the performance of the broader market during that same time frame. Regarding the stock's future course, our hold rating indicates that we do not recommend additional investment in this stock despite its gains in the past year.
  • LIMITED BRANDS INC's earnings per share declined by 19.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, LIMITED BRANDS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.71 versus $2.42 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.91 versus $2.71).
  • 40.30% is the gross profit margin for LIMITED BRANDS INC which we consider to be strong. Regardless of LTD's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 3.57% trails the industry average.
  • LTD, with its decline in revenue, underperformed when compared the industry average of 21.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.7%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Specialty Retail industry average. The net income has decreased by 22.2% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, dropping from $94.28 million to $73.36 million.

Limited Brands, Inc. operates as a specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel, beauty, and personal care products and accessories primarily in the United States and Canada. Limited has a market cap of $14.6 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 18.5, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 25.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Limited Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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