Victoria’s Secret & Co. may no longer have angels representing its brand, but that didn’t stop the company, now separated from Bath & Body Works Inc., from soaring more than 33% in its first days of trading.
began trading as a stand-alone company on Tuesday, jumping 26.6% to end the day at $58.23. The stock rose again on Wednesday, before retreating to a 0.5% decline.
Both Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works
were previously part of the L Brands Inc. lineup.
Ahead of the separation, Victoria’s Secret announced a new board, mostly populated by women, a new women-focused approach that highlights empowerment and diversity, and a brand ambassador panel, VS Collective, that includes U.S. soccer player Megan Rapinoe; actor, producer and author Priyanka Chopra Jonas; and Paloma Elsesser, a model and body-positive advocate.
Analysts say the changes at Victoria’s Secret, which aim to bring cultural relevance back to the brand, are the beginning chapters of a compelling tale.
“While our prior bull thesis on L Brands … had been predicated on hidden value for the robust Bath & Body Works concept, at current levels we now view Victoria’s Secret as the underappreciated asset with the more compelling story,” wrote Wells Fargo analysts in a note.
Wells Fargo initiated Victoria’s Secret at overweight with a $100 price target.
“Versus other historical recovery stories in retail that tend to have a 12- to 24- month ‘waiting period’ before strategies are monetized, meaningful evidence of a turnaround at Victoria’s Secret is already underway,” wrote analysts at MKM Partners in a note.
“That said, we see significant growth for both sales and margins, as the company is still in an early stage of improving its merchandising and has only recently launched new branding and marketing initiatives, which we believe will serve as catalysts to improve Victoria’s Secret’s competitive positioning, brand image, and drive new customer growth.”
MKM calls Victoria’s Secret a “compelling value” that has assets including a strong executive team and an omnichannel structure that works to its benefit. Analysts rate the company’s shares buy with an $88 price target.
Analysts are equally upbeat about Bath & Body Works.
“Now having spun off Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works is a standalone company with industry-leading margins and market share, a robust growth trajectory, category tailwinds and a flexible supply chain,” Wells Fargo wrote in a separate Bath & Body Works note.
Wells Fargo says the beauty and fragrance company has an “agile” supply chain and “diversified real estate strategy” that works in its favor.
Wells Fargo rates Bath & Body Works at overweight with an $80 price target.
“We continue to remain bullish on fundamentals at Bath & Body Works given its strong management team and broad-based strength across categories, and supported by increasing non-mall exposure, broader product fulfillment, and a nimble, largely domestic-based supply chain that can react quickly to chase customer demand and largely dodge sourcing delays — a key competitive
advantage vs. the rest of retail,” wrote MKM Partners.
MKM rates Bath & Body Works buy with a $78 price target.