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Bed Bath & Beyond Warns on Comps, Earnings

Sometimes the truth hurts. Bed Bath & Beyond late on June 4 pre-announced that its first-quarter results — not due out until June 27 — would likely fall short of a consensus projection by Wall Street analysts, and by mid-day June 5 the share price had fallen by as much as 6% in high-volume trading. The share price decline continued through the remainder of the week.

For the quarter ended June 2, BB&B predicted net earnings per diluted share will come in at $0.36 to $0.38. The average analyst estimate throughout the quarter had been steady at $0.39.

Perhaps worse, BB&B said comp-store sales were now expected to creep up "approximately 1.6% as compared with the planned increase of 3 to 5%."

"Based upon what we have experienced and has been reported by others, the overall retailing environment, especially sales of merchandise related to the home, has been challenging," said ceo Steven Temares in a company financial release that was entirely unique for being issued weeks before the scheduled earnings announcement.

This event marked the first time — the only time — that BB&B has ever issued an earnings warning.

"The efforts of our associates and their ability to execute remain at high levels. We continue to base our decisions upon what is necessary to achieve our long-term objectives," Temares continued. "While we did not achieve all of our financial goals during our initial fiscal quarter of 2007, we remain optimistic that this year will be our best ever."

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