November 28, 2007 / 6:27 PM / 12 years ago

Analysts see bullish sign in Limited stock buys

LOS ANGELES, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Analysts on Wednesday applauded recent stock purchases by nine senior executives at Limited Brands Inc LTD.N, suggesting management has confidence in the retailer.

The executives disclosed the stock purchases in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings late on Tuesday, including about 280,000 shares bought by Chief Executive Les Wexner.

“We believe this buying activity represents a positive endorsement of future opportunities for Limited Brands shares,” wrote C.L. King analyst Mark Montagna.

As Lazard Capital analyst Todd Slater wrote in a note to investors about the total $21 million investment by insiders that is expected to continue over the next seven trading days: “This is a very bullish signal. Insiders rarely buy.”

Limited Brands operates the Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works chains.

In the filings, Wexner and eight other executives, including Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer, revealed they purchased over 400,000 shares since Friday.

Wexner increased his holdings, purchased by a trust and via a prearranged Rule 10b5-1 trading plan, to 14.28 percent, according to documents. The stock purchases were part of a plan by Wexner’s trust to buy 1 million Limited common shares by Dec. 7, according to filings.

Under a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan, insiders who might otherwise be barred from trading due to their access to material nonpublic information are allowed to sell shares through a plan arranged in advance.

Analysts at wrote in a note that it was Wexner’s first buy on the open market in more than 13 years.

Limited shares rose 5 percent in early afternoon trading to $18.82. The shares fell to a four-year low earlier this week.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; editing by Andre Grenon)

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