By  on May 22, 2013

L Brands Inc., formerly known as Limited Brands Inc., posted a 14.4 percent increase in first-quarter net income, which helped it top Wall Street’s projections Wednesday afternoon.

The company, which operates Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, said profit for the period ended May 4 totaled $142.5 million, or 48 cents a diluted share. This compared with year-ago profit of $124.6 million, or 41 cents a share.

Net sales for the quarter rose 5.3 percent to $2.27 billion from $2.15 billion a year earlier.

Wall Street anticipated earnings per share of 46 cents on sales of $2.26 billion.

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The retailer said it expects second-quarter earnings to be in the 50-to-55-cent range and annual earnings to be between $2.95 and $3.15 a share.

Analysts are looking for second-quarter EPS of 53 cents and yearly earnings of $3.14.

The retailer will host a conference call Thursday morning to provide more details on its financial results.

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