By  on February 4, 2011

BACK ON THE BEAT: More than two-thirds of the retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters exceeded analysts’ estimates for January comparable-store sales — 68 percent, versus just 44 percent in December — and the 4.2 percent jump among all stores beat both the 2.7 percent estimate for the month and the 3.3 percent rise for January 2010.

BEST IN CLASS: Limited Brands Inc. took top honors among retailers reporting results Thursday with a 24 percent comp gain led by a 35 percent pickup at the Victoria’s Secret unit. Limited’s corporate performance was nearly quadruple the 6.7 percent increase analysts expected, and the VS division’s gain was more than three times the 11 percent estimated. Limited’s Bath & Body Works was up 9 percent, a fact lost in the excitement over the double-digit rise of its older sister. VS was hardly a beneficiary of weak year-ago performance — its January 2010 comps were up 17 percent.

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