L Brands Stages Comeback on Pampering as Estee Lauder Misses the Boat

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Investing.com —  When trapped at home for months, it’s not lingerie or makeup we’re looking for. Show us the body scrub.

L Brands (NYSE:LB) posted a profit that smashed expectations of a loss per share, with sales also beating the forecast thanks to its Bath & Body Works brand. Shares are rallying, up 5.5%, even as the rest of the market shudders under increasing unemployment numbers.

The stock is trading at the highest level in more than two years. 

L Brands earnings per share of 25 cents came in above the expected 39-cent loss, on sales of $2.32 billion, versus the estimated $2.18 billion.Bath & Body Works sales of $1.197 billion were up 13% compared to a year earlier, while Victoria’s Secret revenue dropped 39% to $977.5 million.

The company is preparing Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works to operate as standalone companies, it said in a statement. 

Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL), on the other hand, is down 13% after reporting a loss per share of 53 cents versus the expected loss per share of 22 cents. Sales of $2.43 billion were slightly better than the expected $2.42 billion.

Estee Lauder is taking action, cutting up to 2,000 positions globally, about 3% of its workforce, primarily point of sale employees and related support staff in disrupted areas. It will also close up to 15% of its freestanding stores around the world, as well as less productive department store counters.   

Shares of Estee Lauder had rallied about 47% from March through Wednesday. 

Last month, L Brands said it was cutting 850 corporate jobs, and in May, it said it would close about 250 U.S. stores. 

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