On the tape:
Vicky's Secret comps were down 6%, driven by a later start to the post-holiday sale. Could help January comps. Net stores opened: 3.Limited Brands, Inc. reported a comparable store sales decrease of 2 percent for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010, compared to the five weeks ended Jan. 3, 2009. The company reported net sales of $1.660 billion for the five weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010, compared to net sales of $1.644 billion last year.
The company reported a comparable store sales decrease of 5 percent for the 48 weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010, compared to the 48 weeks ended Jan. 3, 2009. The company reported net sales of $8.010 billion for the 48 weeks ended Jan. 2, 2010, compared to sales of $8.451 billion last year.
Sales and merchandise margin rates for the fourth quarter to date are above the company's initial expectations. As a result, the company is raising its fourth quarter 2009 earnings guidance to $0.92 to $0.97 per share, versus its previous guidance of $0.71 to $0.86 per share.
La Senza's comps were down 4% with no real explanation given. Net stores closed: 22.
Bath & Body Works comps were up 4%, but the company has warned Jan comps could be hurt (5-10pts) by a shorter sale period. Net stores closed: 5.
The company has done a decent job managing their inventories and have, as announced, increased margins. Their Canadian expansion continues with 25 B&BW stores opened and 4 VS stores opened.
Stock is up 1% on the news, trending to its 52wk high ($20.08 set 12/23/09) and might be getting a little frothy with potentially weaker Jan comps coming.
Disclosure: Long LTD equity