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Bed Bath 3Q performance weaker than expected

Union, N.J-- Bed Bath & Beyond reported lower-than-expected third-quarter earnings last night and revised its fourth quarter outlook.

The retailer recorded earnings per share in the fiscal third quarter of $1.12, which was slightly lower than the $1.15 that analysts expected. Sales for the third quarter were approximately $2.9 billion, approximately 6% higher than in the prior year, but also lower than the expected $2.88 billion.

Third quarter comp store sales increased by approximately 1.3%, compared to an increase of approximately 1.7% last year.

During the third quarter, the company opened five new Bed Bath & Beyond stores, as well as five other stores under its Christmas Tree Shops, World Market and andThat! brands and closed three Bed Bath & Beyond stores, a net increase of approximately 42.5 million square feet or approximately 1.4%.

The retailer also operates other stores such as buybuy BABY and Harmon and is planning to open 33 stores across all types of its stores.

"We believe that throughout the United States and Canada, there is an opportunity to operate in excess of 1,300 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, as well as grow our World Market, Christmas Tree Shops or andThat! and buybuy BABY concepts from coast-to-coast," said Leonard Joseph Feinstein, co-founder and co-chairman.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, Eugene A. Castagna, chief financial officer, offered revised comp stores sales. The retailer expects a rise of approximately 2% to 4% versus a previous model of 3.5% to 5.5%, due in part, he said to the difference between fiscal and calendar store sales calendars, caused by the unusual 53-week calendar year in fiscal 2012.

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