Bath & Body Works tops Q4 estimates but forecasts a decline in earnings in 2024

Bath & Body Works Inc.’s stock
fell 8% early Thursday, after the soap and perfume retailer posted better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter but offered guidance for a decline in earnings in 2024. Columbus, Ohio-based Bath & Body Works, which was spun out of Victoria’s Secret, posted net income of $579 million, or $2.55 a share, for the quarter, up from $434 million, or $1.89 a share, in the year-earlier period. The profit number included a $112 million tax benefit stemming from the partial release of a valuation allowance on a foreign deferred tax asset, an $8 million pretax impairment charge and a $6 million pretax gain on the early extinguishment of debt. Excluding those items, adjusted EPS came to $2.06, ahead of the $1.88 FactSet consensus. Sales climbed to $2.912 billion from $2.889 billion a year ago, also ahead of the FactSet consensus of $2.840 billion. CEO Gina Boswell said the sales and earnings were above the high end of the company’s expectations. The company is now expecting fiscal 2024 sales to range from down 3% to flat. Adjusted EPS is expected to come to $3.27. The FactSet consensus implies sales growth of about 8% and EPS of $3.36. The stock has gained 18% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500
has gained 27.7%.

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