Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of L Brands, Inc. (NYSE:LB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning.
According to Zacks, “L Brands finally broke its streak of declining comparable sales in October, giving a much needed boost to its stock that has outperformed the industry in a month. The company reported 2% gain in comps and now expects third quarter earnings to be at the high end of its previously estimated guidance range of 25-30 cents but retained full year 2017 earnings projection of $3.00-$3.20 per share. L Brands now expects comps to be flat in November. The exit from the swim and apparel categories would hurt the comps by nearly 1%. The impact of this is also visible in L Brands top and bottom lines that have declined year over year. Management expects comps to decline in low-to-mid-single digits in fiscal 2017. Nevertheless, the company is focusing on cost containment, inventory management, merchandise, and speed-to-market initiatives along with streamlining its Victoria’s Secret business.”
A number of other equities analysts also recently weighed in on LB. BMO Capital Markets set a $44.00 target price on shares of L Brands and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Citigroup Inc. lifted their target price on shares of L Brands from $40.00 to $45.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Jefferies Group LLC set a $32.00 target price on shares of L Brands and gave the stock a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Instinet lowered their target price on shares of L Brands from $43.00 to $38.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Finally, Nomura set a $38.00 price target on shares of L Brands and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have given a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $46.75.
L Brands (NYSE LB) traded up $1.41 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $49.66. 4,457,756 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,214,394. The company has a market capitalization of $14,100.00, a P/E ratio of 14.53, a P/E/G ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 0.68. L Brands has a 12-month low of $35.00 and a 12-month high of $75.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.25, a current ratio of 1.68 and a quick ratio of 1.05.
L Brands (NYSE:LB) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 16th. The specialty retailer reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.45 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $2.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.75 billion. L Brands had a net margin of 8.04% and a negative return on equity of 103.18%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.70 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that L Brands will post 3.12 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 24th will be given a $0.60 dividend. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.83%. L Brands’s dividend payout ratio is 70.59%.
L Brands announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Monday, September 18th that authorizes the company to repurchase $250.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the specialty retailer to reacquire up to 2.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, Director Allan R. Tessler acquired 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 21st. The shares were acquired at an average price of $37.00 per share, with a total value of $740,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 43,342 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,603,654. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 16.68% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Norway Savings Bank raised its position in shares of L Brands by 0.5% in the second quarter. Norway Savings Bank now owns 10,345 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $557,000 after purchasing an additional 50 shares during the period. M&T Bank Corp raised its position in shares of L Brands by 0.3% in the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 17,171 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $925,000 after purchasing an additional 53 shares during the period. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its position in shares of L Brands by 0.5% in the second quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 17,901 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $965,000 after purchasing an additional 83 shares during the period. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of L Brands by 0.7% in the second quarter. Louisiana State Employees Retirement System now owns 14,900 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $803,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the period. Finally, Financial Advisors Network Inc. raised its position in shares of L Brands by 2.8% in the second quarter. Financial Advisors Network Inc. now owns 4,879 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $263,000 after purchasing an additional 134 shares during the period. 80.02% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
About L Brands
L Brands, Inc operates specialty retail business. The Company is focused on women’s intimate and other apparel, personal care, beauty and home fragrance categories. Its segments include Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, and Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works International. It sells its merchandise through company-owned specialty retail stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Greater China, which are mall-based; through Websites, and through international franchise, license and wholesale partners.
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