L Brands, Inc. (LB) Lifted to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

L Brands, Inc. (NYSE:LB) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday, November 6th.

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.”

LB has been the subject of a number of other reports. Jefferies Group LLC set a $30.00 price target on shares of L Brands and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, August 28th. FBR & Co reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of L Brands in a report on Thursday, July 27th. Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on shares of L Brands in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $57.00 price target for the company. Credit Suisse Group set a $47.00 price target on shares of L Brands and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $44.00 price target on shares of L Brands in a report on Friday, September 1st. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have assigned a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.11.

L Brands (NYSE LB) traded up $1.36 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $50.48. 4,705,718 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 4,572,465. The firm has a market capitalization of $14,328.57, a P/E ratio of 16.08, a P/E/G ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 0.67. L Brands has a 1-year low of $35.00 and a 1-year high of $75.50. The company has a quick ratio of 1.05, a current ratio of 1.68 and a debt-to-equity ratio of -6.25.

L Brands (NYSE:LB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 15th. The specialty retailer reported $0.30 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.30. The business had revenue of $2.62 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.57 billion. L Brands had a net margin of 7.73% and a negative return on equity of 110.21%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.42 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that L Brands will post 3.13 EPS for the current fiscal year.

L Brands announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase plan on Monday, September 18th that allows the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the specialty retailer to repurchase up to 2.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other L Brands news, Director Allan R. Tessler acquired 20,000 shares of L Brands stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 21st. The stock was bought at an average cost 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 of the company’s stock, valued at $1,603,654. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 16.68% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. First Personal Financial Services boosted its position in shares of L Brands by 127.7% in the second quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 1,954 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $105,000 after acquiring an additional 1,096 shares during the period. Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV boosted its position in shares of L Brands by 11.2% in the second quarter. Investors Asset Management of Georgia Inc. GA ADV now owns 3,719 shares of the specialty retailer’s stock valued at $200,000 after acquiring an additional 375 shares during the period. Summit Financial Strategies Inc. bought a new stake in shares of L Brands in the second quarter valued at approximately $214,000. Advisor Partners LLC bought a new stake in shares of L Brands in the second quarter valued at approximately $215,000. Finally, Crescent Grove Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of L Brands in the second quarter valued at approximately $216,000. 76.63% of the stock is 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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