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L Brands Cleans Up Amid Strong Holiday Sales

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Better than expected holiday sales at Victoria's Secret, Pink and Bath & Body Works helped L Brands (LB) - Get Report exceed its own expectations, prompting it to up its fourth-quarter per-share earnings guidance.

The Columbus, Ohio-based company said sales for the nine-week holiday period through January 2 rang in at $3.84 billion, while same-store sales rose 5%. At Victoria's Secret, same-store sales fell 9%, while at Bath & Body Works, same-store sales were up 17%.

L Brands is now expecting fourth-quarter per-share of between $2.70 and $2.80, significantly above current FactSet consensus forecasts of $1.97 a share. Sales are expected to add up to $4.8 billion, according to analysts pooled by FactSet.

L Brands swung to a third-quarter profit in November, highlighted by a 55% jump in sales of Bath & Body Works personal-hygiene products including soap and hand sanitizer that helped offset a drop in sales of Victoria's Secret clothing and lingerie.

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