What happened

Shares of L Brands (NYSE:LB) briefly popped by as much as 11% this morning after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings. The company crushed profit expectations and comparable store sales jumped.

So what

Revenue in the fourth quarter came in at $4.82 billion, slightly shy of the consensus estimate of $4.85 billion. That resulted in earnings per share of $3.03, a strong beat compared to the $2.11 per share in profits that analysts were expecting. The consumer discretionary company, which is the parent to the Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret brands, said comparable store sales increased by 10%. Comps at Bath & Body Works jumped 22% while declining 3% at Victoria's Secret.

Bath & Body Works retail store

Image source: L Brands.

"We experienced consistent strength at Bath & Body Works along with continued significant improvement in performance at Victoria's Secret," CEO Andrew Meslow said in a statement. "Looking forward, we remain focused on our strategy to deliver compelling merchandise and experiences to our customers while maintaining a safe environment."

Now what

L Brands is forecasting earnings per share of $0.35 to $0.45 in the first quarter, also well ahead of the consensus estimate of $0.07 per share. The company is preparing to separate the struggling Victoria's Secret segment, which is expected to occur in August. Due to that pending corporate action, combined with ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties related to the pandemic, L Brands is not providing earnings guidance for the full year.

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