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L Brands' Stock Struggles Despite Favorable Comps in March

Shares of L Brands, Inc. LB struggled to find a safe haven despite reporting better-than-expected comparable-store sales (comps) for the five-week period ended Apr 2, 2016. The stock declined 6.5% over the last two trading sessions.

Comps in the five-week period ended Apr 2, 2016 improved 3% year over year after a 5% rise in February. The sequential decline in March comps stemmed from a nearly 1 to 2 points adverse impact due to an earlier Easter this year. Net sales in the month under review were up 5% to $1.027 billion from $981.2 million recorded in Mar 2015. L Brands’ comps improved 2% at Victoria’s Secret stores and 5% at Bath & Body Works.

On the other hand, comps in the nine weeks ended Apr 2, 2016 increased 6% and net sales for the same period jumped 5% to $1.876 billion.

The company operates about 3,005 stores worldwide. It commands a market-leading position in the lingerie, personal care and beauty segments. We believe that L Brands’ innovative merchandise and exclusive assortments make it popular among consumers and lends uniqueness to its brand. The company, with its operational efficiencies as well as new and diverse selection of merchandise, is well positioned to capitalize on the same.

However, L Brands’ share price came under pressure in the last two trading sessions after the company announced a restructuring plan which includes job cuts of 200. The company will restructure its Victoria’s Secret brand to streamline operation and concentrate on its primary merchandise categories. The Victoria’s Secret division will be divided into three different units: Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, PINK and Victoria’s Secret Beauty.  

The restructuring will result in nearly 200 job layoffs in the company’s Columbus, Ohio and New York City offices.

Other retailers that reported comps include Zumiez, Inc. ZUMZ and The Gap, Inc. GPS, both of which witnessed a decline of 7.8% and 6%, respectively, for March. On the other hand, Costco Wholesale Corporation COST registered comps growth of 1.9%.

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ZUMIEZ INC (ZUMZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
GAP INC (GPS): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
COSTCO WHOLE CP (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
L BRANDS INC (LB): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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