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L Brands' Q3 loss widens as Victoria's Secret continues to fall

L Brands reported a steep loss for its Q3 as sales continued to fall at its troubled Victoria's Secret division.

The retailer’s net loss totaled $252 million, or 91 cents a share, in the quarter ended Nov.2, compared with a loss of $43 million, or 16 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings came to 2 cents a share, in line with analysts’ estimates, compared with 16 cents a share a year ago. 

Sales fell to $2.67 billion from $2.77 billion a year ago. Analysts had expected sales of $2.69 billion.

Total comparable sales (for stores and direct) fell 2%. By brand, same-store sales fell 7% at Victoria’s Secret, compared to a decline of 2% in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 9% at Bath & Body Works. 

L Brands has been working to turn around its struggling Victoria’s Secret brand, which has struggled to find its footing as consumers increasingly opt for lingerie brands that emphasize comfort, inclusion and diversity, such as ThirdLove, Lively and American Eagle’s Aerie. 

In line with changing attitudes, L Brands marketing chief Edward Razek, an architect of Victoria’s Secret sexy image has departed the company. And the brand will not air its annual fashion extravaganza on national television this year. 

The company stated that it expects 2019 fourth-quarter earnings per share to be about $2.00, which would result in full-year adjusted earnings per share of about $2.40, compared to its previous full-year guidance range of $2.30 to $2.60.

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