L Brands earnings: 59 cents per share, vs expected EPS of 55 cents

Pedestrians walk past a Victoria's Secret store, a subsidiary of L Brands, in New York.
Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images

L Brands reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' expectations on Wednesday, but revenues fell short. Meanwhile, the specialty apparel retailer lowered its full-year outlook and said it expects a comparable-sales decline for the month of May.

L Brands shares slipped nearly 4 percent in after-hours trading.

The company posted first-quarter earnings per share of 59 cents, compared to 61 cents a share in the year-earlier period. Revenue for the quarter came in at $2.61 billion, against the comparable year-ago figure $2.51 billion.

Wall Street was expecting 55 cents a share on revenue of $2.62 billion, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

The company trimmed its full-year guidance for adjusted earnings per share between $3.60 and $3.80, down from its previous forecast of $3.90 and $4.10.

Analysts had been anticipating a cut to the retailer's full-year guidance, after management reported a rare comparable-sales miss during the month of April. That included a 1 percent decline at its Victoria's Secret brand.

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L Brands CEO Les Wexner took the reins at the lingerie label in February and has announced several strategic shifts in the months that followed.

Those include the brand's decision to do away with the Victoria's Secret catalog, to stop selling swimwear, and to exit apparel outside of its younger-facing Pink label. Though Citi analyst Paul Lejuez said at the time of the announcement that eliminating the catalog could save the retailer more than $100 million annually, he estimated that leaving behind swim could cost it $500 million in revenues.

Overall, L Brands previously reported that its comparable sales ticked 1 percent higher in April, well short of Retail Metrics' forecast for a 4.8 percent gain. At that time, the retailer also said comparable sales during the first quarter increased 3 percent, and that its first-quarter earnings per share would come in at the high end of its prior guidance of 50 cents to 55 cents a share.

In its previous guidance, the company said it expected low-single-digit growth in comparable sales for the year. It predicted total sales growth would be roughly one to two points higher than its comparable sales, thanks to its square footage growth. L Brands did not update those forecasts in its press release.

It did, however, say that it expects its comparable sales to log a low- to mid-single digit decline in May. That would represent its first monthly decline in that metric since April 2015.