By  on August 7, 2014

Retailers' second quarters ended on a high note with July sales coming in generally better than expected.

L Brands reported a 6 percent increase in comparable-store sales for the month, with Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works exceeding estimates with respective comp increases of 5 and 7 percent. The company expects second-quarter earnings, set to be reported on Aug. 20, to be at the high end of its previous estimate of 57 to 62 cents a diluted share, even after the inclusion of 2 cents a share in charges to cover severance costs.

The two remaining teen retailers in the monthly comp sample also surpassed expectations as The Buckle Inc. was up 0.5 percent versus an expected flat result for the month, and Zumiez Inc., expected to report a 3 percent advance, tallied a 3.5 percent improvement.

Stein Mart Inc. was up 0.8 percent in the month, below the 4.7 percent gain expected but sufficient to help it extend a quarterly winning streak.

"Our 1.3 percent comparable-store sales increase for the second quarter marks our ninth consecutive quarter of positive sales," said Jay Stein, chief executive officer. "July sales trended higher in the second half of the month driven by early fall receipts.We continue to have a positive outlook for 2014 as the underlying fundamentals of our business and growth strategies remain in place."

Cato Corp. recorded a 4 percent comp increase in July, twice the expected level and "in line with our year-to-date trend," according to John Cato, chairman, president and ceo.

 

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