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Limited Down 8% For Holiday, Dims Outlook

Limited Brands sales at stores open at least a year fell 8 percent in December, hurt by lower traffic during the holiday season, and predicted negative January same-store sales.

The operator of the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works chains also said fourth quarter earnings would be at the low-to-mid point of a previously-announced range of 90 cents to $1.05 per share.

Analysts, on average, had expected a same-store sales decline of 4.1 percent over the five weeks that ended Jan. 5, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net sales for the operator of the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works chains fell 14 percent to $1.74 billion, compared to $2.03 billion in the same period last year.

The lower sales were seen across a range of products, including bras, panties, sleepwear and beauty products, Limited said.

Analysts, on average, have been expecting the company to post earnings of 95 cents for the crucial holiday fourth quarter.

Limited also said it expects January same-store sales -- a key gauge of retail performance -- to fall in the mid-to-high single-digit range on a percentage basis.

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