Limited Brands 1st-qtr net income up

AP News
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Posted: May 18, 2011 5:44 PM
Limited Brands 1st-qtr net income up

Retailer Limited Brands Inc. saw strong sales of small luxuries boost its first-quarter net income.

The company, which owns the Bath and Body Works, Victoria's Secret and La Senza retail chains, reported Wednesday that it earned $165.2 million, or 50 cents per share, for the quarter that ended April 30. That's up 47 percent from $112.5 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items in each period, Limited earned 40 cents per share versus 25 cents per share last year. That beats the 39 cents per share that analysts were expecting, according to FactSet.

As the company previously reported, its revenue rose 15 percent to $2.22 billion.

Limited Brands has found a sweet spot in the post-recession economy by selling off its clothing brand and focusing on its chains that sell luxuries like lotion and lingerie at moderate prices.

Revenue at stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of a retailer's financial performance because it strips away recently opened or closed stores, rose 15 percent.

Leslie H. Wexner, CEO of the company, said the company's brand building helped deliver the strong first-quarter results.

Limited expects to earn 38 cents to 43 cents per share for the second quarter, on an adjusted basis. That's below analysts' average forecast for 43 cents.

For the full fiscal year, Limited anticipates earning $2.25 to $2.45 per share. Analysts anticipated $2.25 per share for the year.

Shares of the company, based in Columbus, Ohio, rose 4 cents to $42.49 after hours, recovering from an initial after-hours drop of 75 cents. They rose 2 percent in regular trading Wednesday.