L Brands Inc. reported sales of $1.596 billion for the four weeks ending December 1, up from $1.267 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 9% for the period. Victoria's Secret same-store sales were up 2%, driven by lingerie and beauty, but offset partially by the Pink brand. The company said Victoria's Secret had a record Cyber Monday. Bath & Body Works same-store sales soared 18% for the period "driven by strong product acceptance," said Chief Investor Relations Officer Annie Preston on a recorded sales call. "What is BBW selling??" asked Instinet analysts led by Simeon Siegel. Instinet says Victoria's Secret same-store sales growth was "promotionally driven" and warns that though Bath & Body Works same-store sales strength continued, its margins fell for the first time since June. L Brands says the margin decline was "driven by the calendar shift." Instinet rates L Brands shares neutral with a $35 price target. L Brands stock is up 1% in Thursday trading, but down 44.6% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index has fallen 1.6% for 2018.

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