Shares of Bath & Body Works Inc. fell more than 4% in the extended session Wednesday after the specialty retailer reported first-quarter earnings above Wall Street expectations, but lowered its guidance for the full year. The company said it earned $155 million, or 64 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $277 million, or 97 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales fell 1% to $1.45 billion, the company said. FactSet consensus called for earnings of 53 cents a share on sales of $1.44 billion. “With our vertically integrated and approximately 85% domestic supply chain, we are taking advantage of the agility in our inventory decision-making to leverage early customer reads and chase our best performers in season,” interim Chief Executive Sarah Nash said in a statement. Bath & Body Works will continue to “plan prudently” this year and accelerate investments in the business to drive long-term growth, Nash said. The company forecast second-quarter earnings from continuing operations to be between 60 cents a share and 65 cents a share, compared to earnings of 77 cents a share in the prior year. For fiscal 2022, Bath & Body Works projected earnings from continuing operations between $3.80 a share and $4.15 a share, compared with a previous guidance of between $4.30 a share and $4.70 a share. That reflects “the company’s decision to accelerate investments in information technology and its customer loyalty program, as well as projected increases in inflationary pressures,” the company said. Shares of Bath & Body Works, which became a standalone company in August, ended the regular trading day down nearly 9%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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