L Brands Inc. posted gains in fourth-quarter and full-year profits.
For the three months ended Jan. 31, net income rose 15.4 percent to $564.8 million, or $1.89 a diluted share, from $489.6 million, or $1.65, a year ago. Net sales rose 6.6 percent to $4.07 billion from $3.82 billion. Comparable-store sales rose 6 percent, the company said. Wall Street was expecting $1.80 in EPS on sales of $4.03 billion.
By nameplate, comps at Victoria’s Secret stores were up 4 percent, with Bath & Body Works up 8 percent. Comps at Victoria’s Secret Direct fell 2 percent.
For the full year, net income was up 15.4 percent to $1.04 billion, or $3.50 a diluted share, from $903 million, or $3.05, in 2013. Net sales were up 6.3 percent to $11.45 billion from $10.77 billion.
Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “We focused on the execution of fundamentals in the business in 2014, and we continued to get better throughout the year. I am optimistic heading into 2015.”
The company posted results after the markets closed, and will hold a conference call today. Shares of L Brands rose 1 percent to $92.47, but fell 2.6 percent to $90.03 in early after-hours trading following the report of results. The after-market decline was due to the company’s full-year 2015 and first-quarter guidance, lower than the current Wall Street consensus estimates.
Wall Street was projecting $3.83 in EPS for the full year and 62 cents for the first quarter. Instead, the company for 2015 forecasted full-year earnings per share at between $3.45 and $3.65 a share, which includes a first-quarter guidance range of 50 cents to 55 cents. The company added that it expects to report February comps to increase in the mid-single digit range.
Total company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada were 2,969 at the end of the fourth quarter, while there were 650 franchise stores in operation overseas. L Brands includes the Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works brands, Pink, Henri Bendel and La Senza.