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Limited Brands Results Top Estimates; Outlook Weak

Limited Brands Results Top Estimates; Outlook Weak
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Women's apparel and personal care products retailer Limited Brands Inc. (LTD: Quote) said Wednesday after the markets closed that its fourth quarter profit rose 14% from last year, helped by higher sales and fewer impairment charges.

The company's quarterly earnings per share, excluding items, also came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly sales.

However, the company forecast first quarter and full year 2013 earnings below analysts' current consensus estimates.

Limited Brands shares are currently losing 0.90% in after hours trading after closing the day's regular trading session at $44.50, up 87 cents or 1.99%. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $40.32 to $52.50.

Limited Brands is a specialty apparel retailer focused on lingerie, beauty and personal care products through the Victoria's Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel chains.

For the fourth quarter ended February 2,, 2013, the Columbus, Ohio-based company reported net income of $411.4 million or $1.39 per share, compared to $359.4 million or $1.17 per share for the year-ago quarter.

The latest quarter results include a pre-tax, non-cash charge of $93.2 million, or $0.31 per share, related to intangible asset impairment at La Senza; and a pre-tax, non-cash charge of $26.9 million, or $0.06 per share, related to store fixed asset impairment at Henri Bendel.

The year-ago quarter results included a pre-tax gain of $110.8 million, or $0.32 cents per share, related to the sale of the company's third party apparel sourcing business; a pre-tax, principally non-cash charge of $256.1 million, or $0.74 per share, related to intangible asset impairment and restructuring charges, including store closures, at La Senza; and a tax benefit of $28.4 million, or $0.09 per share, related to certain discrete tax matters.

Excluding items, adjusted net income for the fourth quarter was $519.2 million or $1.76 per share, compared to $459.2 million or $1.50 per share in the prior year quarter.

On average, 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.74 per share for the fourth quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

As previously announced, the company's net sales for the fourth quarter rose 9.7% to $3.86 billion from $3.52 billion in the same quarter last year. Same-store sales for the second quarter increased 5%. Twenty analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $3.77 billion for the fourth quarter.

Looking forward, the company forecast earnings of $0.40 to $0.45 per share for the first quarter and $2.92 to $3.12 per share for the full year 2013.

Analysts currently expect the company to earn $0.51 per share for the first quarter and $3.24 per share for the full year 2013.

The company also said it expects to report a February same-store sales increase in line with its previous guidance for up low single digit comps.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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