Shoppers splurging again on little luxuries like lingerie and bath products boosted sales at Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works and helped parent Limited Brands' fourth-quarter net income rise 27 percent, the company said Wednesday.
The retailer said its net income was $452.3 million, or $1.36 per share, compared with $356.1 million, or $1.08 per share, a year earlier. Excluding gains related to selling stock in the Express clothing chain and to an Express dividend payment, Limited Brands earned $1.26 per share.
Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $1.24 per share and revenue of $3.44 billion, according to FactSet.
Revenue rose 13 percent to $3.46 billion from $3.06 billion last year.
Fourth-quarter revenue in stores open at least a year rose 10 percent from a year earlier. The comparison is considered a key measure of a retailer's financial health because it excludes stores that open or close during the year.
The Columbus, Ohio, company raised its forecast for that key metric for February, saying this month's sales are going better than expected.
For the year, Limited Brands said its net income rose 80 percent to $804.85 million, or $2.42 per share, from $447.9 million, or $1.37 per share, the year before. Revenue rose 11 percent to $9.61 billion from $8.63 billion.
For the current quarter, the company expects to earn 26 cents to 31 cents per share, and it forecasts earnings of $2.15 to $2.35 per share for the full year.
Analysts expect net income of 30 cents per share for this quarter and $2.27 for the year.
Limited Brands will hold a conference call with analysts to discuss earnings at 9 a.m. on Thursday.