L Brands falls after slashing profit forecast

L Brands, the parent of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, on Wednesday lowered its profit outlook, which overshadowed quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations.

The company said it now expects full-year earnings per share between $2.45 and $2.70, down from its previous forecast for earnings per share between $2.70 and $3.

For the third quarter, L Brands said it expects earnings per share between 0 cents and 5 cents. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had estimated third-quarter earnings per share of 16 cents.

Shares of the company fell 5 percent in after-hours trade.

Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters:

  • Earnings per share: 36 cents, adjusted, vs. 34 cents expected
  • Revenue: $2.98 billion vs. $2.93 billion expected

The Columbus, Ohio-based company reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $99 million, or 36 cents per share, down from $138.9 million, or 48 cents per share a year earlier.

Excluding items, L Brands earned 36 cents per share, better than the 34 cents per share expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The company earlier this month reported net sales of $2.98 billion for second quarter, up from $2.76 billion the same period a year prior.

Comparable sales at Victoria’s Secret declined 1 percent in the second quarter, while they grew 10 percent for Bath & Body Works. On a whole, comparable sales grew 3 percent.

The age-old lingerie player has struggled under the pressure of new competition from millennial-focused brands like American Eagle‘s Aerie division, Adore Me and ThirdLove. Those brands have the products that experts say today’s consumer wants: trendy, comfortable bralettes over the push-up bras for which Victoria’s Secret has become known.

“The dark store environment, the conspicuous sexuality of the offer, and the brash marketing are increasingly out of step with what modern consumers want,” GlobalData Retail managing director Neil Saunders has said about the brand.

In July, Victoria’s Secret sent its stocks tumbling when it announced that weak sales during semi-annual sale forced it to extend the event by two weeks and offer steeper discounts.

“We believe this all means the brand is broken,” wrote Jefferies analyst Randal Konik at the time.

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