“We remain NEUTRAL rated. In March, total company comp sales increased 4%, or +2% excluding a 2% point benefit from an earlier Easter, ~in line with our +LSD expectations. The LB total comp increase of 4% (stores flat) included a 1% increase at Victoria’s Secret (stores -3%) and a 10% increase at Bath & Body Works (stores +9%). The company expects April comp sales results will be negatively impacted by 2-3% points from the Easter timing shift. For the total company, March sales increased 7% to $1.02bn. VS total comps increased 1% in March (stores -3%), decelerating m-o-m (+2% in Feb) despite benefits from an earlier Easter. VS comp growth was attributed to solid trends in Beauty and modest growth in Lingerie, partially offset by a decline in PINK (which was flat in February and grew slightly in 4Q).”,” the firm’s analyst commented.
A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets set a $56.00 price objective on shares of L Brands and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Morgan Stanley reissued an overweight rating and set a $70.00 price objective on shares of L Brands in a report on Thursday, December 14th. Robert W. Baird set a $60.00 price objective on shares of L Brands and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, December 28th. Scotiabank reissued a hold rating and set a $59.00 price objective on shares of L Brands in a report on Wednesday, January 17th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of L Brands from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, March 20th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $49.37.
L Brands (NYSE:LB) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 28th. The specialty retailer reported $2.11 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.05 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $4.82 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.72 billion. L Brands had a net margin of 7.78% and a negative return on equity of 101.69%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.03 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that L Brands will post 3.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.
L Brands announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Thursday, March 8th that permits the company to buyback $226.90 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the specialty retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, CFO Stuart B. Burgdoerfer sold 33,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.53, for a total transaction of $1,403,490.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 69,640 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,961,789.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CFO Stuart B. Burgdoerfer sold 17,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $39.56, for a total transaction of $672,520.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 52,640 shares in the company, valued at $2,082,438.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 16.68% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. American International Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of L Brands by 74.8% during the 4th quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 10,436,938 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $628,512,000 after acquiring an additional 4,466,237 shares in the last quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System boosted its stake in shares of L Brands by 7.0% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 585,641 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $24,369,000 after acquiring an additional 38,141 shares in the last quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC boosted its stake in shares of L Brands by 29.0% during the 3rd quarter. Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC now owns 4,156,510 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $172,952,000 after acquiring an additional 935,259 shares in the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec boosted its stake in shares of L Brands by 10.0% during the 4th quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 139,122 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $8,378,000 after acquiring an additional 12,600 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its stake in shares of L Brands by 7.6% during the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 44,304 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock worth $2,668,000 after acquiring an additional 3,130 shares in the last quarter. 81.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
L Brands Company Profile
L Brands, Inc operates as a specialty retailer of women's intimate and other apparel, beauty and personal care products, and accessories. The company operates in three segments: Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works International. Its products include loungewear, bras, panties, swimwear, athletic attire, fragrances, shower gels and lotions, aromatherapy, soaps and sanitizers, home fragrances, handbags, jewelry, and personal care accessories.
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