L Brands Stock Spirals After Victoria's Secret Sale

Leslie Wexner will also be resigning from his position as CEO

Deputy Editor
Feb 20, 2020 at 9:53 AM
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After months of speculation surrounding L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) and speculation that it wanted to sell its struggling subsidiary Victoria's Secret, it appears that the rumors were true. It was announced this morning that the firm will be selling a controlling stake in the lingerie brand to Sycamore Partners for $525 million. Additionally, L Brands' long-time CEO Leslie Wexner announced his resignation following the sale's close. Wexner plans on taking a role as chairman emeritus. As a result, the shares of LB are down 11.6% to trade at $21.70.

This puts LB just north of its 200-day moving average, which is home to its late-January pre-bull gap levels near the $20 region. While last month's rumors regarding Wexner's resignation may have placed the stock near its six-month highs, the $25 region served as a stiff ceiling on the charts. Today, the equity still boasts a year-to-date gain of roughly 24%. 

Analysts have been wary over the Bed, Bath & Beyond parent, with only six in coverage calling it a "strong buy" compared to 14 dubbing LB a "hold" or worse. Plus, the consensus 12-month target price of $22.52 is an 8.5% discount to last night's close. 

On the other hand, the options pits are full of bulls. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), 6.48 calls have been picked up for every put in the last 10 weeks. This ratio sits higher than 96% of all other readings from the past year, suggesting a much bigger appetite for long calls of late. 

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