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Bed, Bath drives 2Q profits up 23%

Union, NJ — Still acting as a magnet to consumers eager to buy, superstore retailer Bed Bath & Beyond drove second-quarter profits up an impressive 23.8 percent, to $54.0 million from $43.6 million a year ago.

Bed Bath & Beyond recorded a formidable 7.6 percent return on sales during the second-quarter and first six months of the year, banking almost eight cents on every dollar of sales.

Results were in line with Wall Street's expectations, and cheered by the news investors pushed Bed Bath stock sharply higher the day following the earnings release, driving the retailer's share price up by 11.1 percent, or $2.55 a share, in extremely heavy volume on the New York Stock Exchange. By 1 p.m. on Sept. 26, more than 8.7 million shares had changed hands, almost three times the usual daily trading volume of 3.0 million shares, as investors raced into the stock.

Sales at the rocket-hot retailer jumped up by 21.1 percent, to $713.6 billion from $589,381 last year. The bellwether gauge of same-store sales increased by 4.8 percent.

Average gross margin continued to tighten slightly, by 10 basis points, to 40.8 percent from 40.9 percent the prior year. But given the big jump in sales, gross margin dollars still increased by 20.7 percent, to $291.3 million from $241.4 million the prior year.

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