Columbus, OH—Limited Brands today reported that its second quarter profit fell 38% due to fewer one-time gains and a slight decline in sales. Still, the parent of Victoria Secret, Bath & Body Works and La Senza managed to beat expectations.
For the quarter ended July 28, the company posted net income of $143.6 million, or 49 cents a share, down from $231.2 million, or 73 cents a share, a year earlier. The earnings include a 1-cent a share charge related to its La Senza store closings. The year ago period included a net gain of 24 cents a share related to the sales of its Express Inc. shares. Excluding items, adjusted earnings rose to 50 cents from 48 cents a share.
Total revenues declined 2.4% to $2.40 billion. Comparable store sales were up 8%. Gross margin widened to 39.3% from 36.7%. Included in the sales figure was $216.million from the company’s sale of its third party apparel sourcing business in November 2011.
The earnings report was good enough to beat analysts’ average estimate for earnings of 48 cents a share on sales of $2.38 billion.
As for its third quarter forecast, Limited Brands estimates earnings in the range of 15 to 20 cents a share, smaller than analysts’ estimate for 24 cents a share.
Looking ahead to its full year forecast, the company raised its earnings outlook of $2.73 to $2.88 a share, from its previous estimate for $2.63 to $2.88 a share. Analysts’ consensus expects $2.84 a share.