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L Brands gives shareholders big gift


Shareholders of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands received an early Valentine’s Day gift after the company said fourth quarter profits were much better than expected and it would pay a $2 a share special dividend.

The company said same store sales increased 7% and total sales for the four week period ended Jan. 31 increased 7% to $783.1 million. Sales for the full fourth quarter period also increased 7% to slightly more than $4 billion while same store sales grew 6%.

The strong top line growth at L Brands, parent company of Victoria's Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, flowed through to the bottom line and prompted to the company to increase its full year profit forecast. Fourth quarter earnings are expected to range from $1.78 and $1.80, well above a prior forecast range of $1.61 to $1.71, when the company reports results on Feb. 26.

In addition to a strong fourth quarter showing, L Brands gave shareholders a big gift in the form of cash. The company increased its ordinary annual dividend by 47% to $2 a share from $1.36 a share – and – said it would also pay a one-time special dividend of $2 a share. The company did not elaborate on the source of funds that would be used to pay the special dividend.

"I am very proud and appreciative of the team's focus and the disciplined execution in our business, which drove record performance in 2014. The dividend and share repurchase actions announced today reflect confidence in our growth opportunities and commitment to delivering shareholder value,” said L Brands chairman and CEO Leslie Wexner.

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