L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) reported a wider loss in the third quarter of 2019 due to higher costs and expenses. The bottom line matched analysts’ expectations while the top line missed consensus estimates. The company guided fourth-quarter earnings above the Street’s view.
Net loss was $252 million or $0.91 per share compared to a loss of $42.75 million or $0.16 per share in the previous year quarter. The results included a charge related to certain Victoria’s Secret store and other assets. Adjusted earnings plunged by 88% to $0.02 per share.
Revenue declined by 4% to $2.68 billion. Comparable sales declined by 2% for the third quarter and comparable store sales decreased by 3%. This was due to a decline in Victoria’s Secret.
Looking ahead into the fourth quarter, the company expects earnings to be about $2.00 per share. For the full year 2019, the company now expects earnings of about $2.40 per share compared to the previous forecast range of $2.30 to $2.60 per share.
For the third quarter, sales for Victoria’s Secret segment were $1.41 billion, and comp sales decreased 7%, including an 8% decline in store comps, due to declines in traffic and average unit retails. Total digital sales declined by 6%.
Looking into the holiday season, the company is up against aggressive promotional activity from last year. The company will continue to remain agile in reading the business and respond with appropriate promotional activity to drive traffic and manage inventory levels while optimizing its margin dollar result.
Sales for the Bath & Body Works segment grew by 11% to $1.064 billion. Comps increased by 9% and store-only comps rose 5%. Sales performance was balanced across the quarter. Customers responded well to its merchandise assortment with all major merchandise categories growing relative to last year.
In the international segment, revenue was about flat to last year at $133.4 million. The company continues to be confident about its prospects for growth in international markets and remains focused on the fundamentals.
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