COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Limited Brands Inc., operator of Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works and other stores, said Thursday that its December revenue at stores open at least a year rose 3 percent. But the increase missed Wall Street's estimates for the key holiday month, and its shares fell more than 2 percent in premarket trading.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a 4.5 percent rise. Revenue at stores open at least a year is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed. The holiday quarter is crucial for retailers because it can account for up to 40 percent of annual sales.
Total revenue for the five weeks ended Dec. 31 rose 4.2 percent to $1.95 billion from $1.87 billion.
Limited Brand's year-to-date revenue from stores open at least a year rose 6 percent. Total revenue fell 1 percent to $9.47 billion from $9.59 billion last year.
Year-ago figures include $702.4 million for the year related to a third-party apparel sourcing business which the company sold in November 2011.
Limited Brands, based in Columbus, Ohio, runs 2,624 specialty stores in the U.S. and its brands are sold in more than 700 additional company-operated and franchised locations globally.
Its shares fell $1.18, or 2.5 percent, to $46.22 in premarket trading.