A pedestrian walks past a Victoria’s Secret storefront closed and boarded up on Robson Street during the COVID-19 crisis on April 17, 2020 in Vancouver, Canada.

Andrew Chin | Getty Images

Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands reported Wednesday its third straight quarterly loss and fourth consecutive drop in sales, as its stores were forced shut for most of the period due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Its shares were recently down less than 1% in after-hours trading on the news. 

Here’s how the company did during its fiscal first quarter ended May 2: 

  • Earnings per share, adjusted: A loss of 99 cents 
  • Revenue: $1.65 billion 

The retailer, which also owns Bath & Body Works, reported a net loss of $296.9 million, or $1.07 per share, compared with a profit of $40.3 million, or 14 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding one-time charges, it lost 99 cents per share. 

Net sales decreased 37% to $1.65 billion from $2.63 billion a year ago. 

Analysts were calling for L Brands to report an adjusted loss of 72 cents per share on revenue of $1.72 billion, according to Refinitiv estimates. However, it is difficult to compare reported earnings to analyst estimates for L Brands’ first quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit global economies with earnings impacts that are difficult to assess. 

Meantime, L Brands said Wednesday it still remains committed to make Bath & Body Works a “pure-play public company,” with Victoria’s Secret operating as another standalone business. 

L Brands on May 4 announced it struck an agreement with private-equity firm Sycamore Partners to terminate its Victoria’s Secret deal. Sycamore had previously agreed to acquire a 55% share in Victoria’s Secret for $525 million, which would have allowed the lingerie brand to go private. 

However, Sycamore Partners tried to end its deal with L Brands in April, citing store closures and missed rent payments during the pandemic. L Brands said it struck a termination agreement earlier this month to avoid “costly and distracting litigation to force a partnership with Sycamore.” 

L Brands’ goal is to all its stronger soap and fragrance business to grow without being weighed down by its struggling bra business. But some analysts argue even Bath & Body Works is challenged. 

“While Bath & Body Works has been a key source of strength for L Brands over the past decade, recently it’s shown signs of peaking,” Jefferies analyst Randy Konik said in a note to clients ahead of Wednesday’s earnings report. 

L Brands is expected to hold a call with analysts Thursday at 9 a.m. ET to discuss its first-quarter results. 

The company has already said it is not providing a second-quarter or full-year outlook, due to Covid-19. 

As of Wednesday’s market close, L Brands shares have fallen more than 32% this year. The company has a market cap of about $3.4 billion. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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