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BBB posts strong earnings, sales in Q3 but takes comp hit due to Sandy

Union, NJ - The third quarter proved a prosperous period for Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., which reported significant increases in its net earnings in net earnings and sales, albeit more modest gains in comps due largely to impacts from Hurricane Sandy in late October.

The 1,466-unit home textiles specialty chain reported an 8.4% increase in net earnings for the three months ended November 24 to $232.8 million, or $1.03 per diluted share, versus $228.5 million, or $.95 per diluted share in the same quarter a year ago.

Net sales jumped 15.3% to $2.702 billion compared to $2.344 billion last year, while comparable store sales were up only 1.7% versus 4.1% in last year's fiscal third quarter.

The company explained that it estimates that the impact of Hurricane Sandy reduced its comparable store sales percentage during the fiscal third quarter by approximately 0.9%.

Year to date, net earnings were up 11.2% to $663.9 million, or $2.89 per diluted share, over $638.5 million, or $2.60 per diluted share, in the corresponding period a year ago.

Net sales for the nine months rose similarly - by 11.0% -- to $7.513 billion, compared to $6.768 billion in the corresponding period a year ago. Comps were up 2.7%, versus 5.5% last year.

Looking ahead, BBB is modeling its net earnings per diluted share to be $1.60 to $1.67 for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2012 and, consistent with prior estimates, to fall between $4.48 and $4.54 for all of fiscal 2012 -- which will be 53 weeks and includes World Market and Linen Holdings from the date of each acquisition to the end of the fiscal year.

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