Limited Brands 2nd-qtr profit, revenue both rise

AP News
Posted: Aug 17, 2011 5:43 PM
Limited Brands 2nd-qtr profit, revenue both rise

Limited Brands Inc. said its second-quarter net income rose 29 percent as it sold more merchandise at full price at its Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works stores.

The company raised its annual guidance based on the better-than-expected results and increased its forecast for a key revenue measure for August.

Its net income rose to $231.2 million, or 73 cents per share, from $178.7 million, or 54 cents per share, a year earlier.

Its adjusted net income of 48 cents per share beat analysts' average forecast for 45 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $2.46 billion from $2.24 billion a year ago. Analysts had expected $2.46 billion.

Revenue at stores open at least a year rose 9 percent for the quarter. The comparison is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes stores that recently opened or closed.

"Our focus on managing inventory and expenses conservatively and staying agile yielded more full-priced selling and record results," Leslie H. Wexner, Limited's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "As we enter the fall season, we will remain focused on our customers, and we see opportunity to continue to do better."

Limited, based in Columbus, Ohio, has found a sweet spot in the post-recession economy by selling off its clothing chain and focusing on its stores that sell small luxuries like lotion and lingerie at moderate prices.

The company said it now expects August revenue at stores open at least a year to rise by a percentage in the high single digits. It originally forecast a low-single-digit percentage increase.

Limited expects to earn 17 cents per share to 22 cents per share for the third quarter. Analysts forecast 22 cents, according to FactSet.

For the full year, the company now predicts it will earn $2.35 to $2.50 per share. That's up from its original estimate of $2.25 to $2.45 per share. Analysts forecast $2.47 per share.

Shares slipped 49 cents to $34.34 per share in regular trading before the company reported its results. In aftermarket trading after the report came out, the shares rose $1.16, more than 3 percent, to $35.50.