Bed Bath & Beyond Comps Gain But Net Earnings Slip

For the fourth quarter ended February 28, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. posted net earnings of $321.1 million, or $1.80 per diluted share, versus $333.3 million, or $1.60 per diluted share, for the 2013 period. Comparable sales increased 3.7% versus the year-earlier quarter, the company stated.

The Zacks Investment Research average financial analyst estimate was for $1.81 per diluted share.

Fourth quarter comps include a 0.2% unfavorable impact from the change in Canadian currency exchange rates, the company reported.

Net sales were $3.34 billion, up 4.2% from the 2013 fourth quarter. Operating profit was $532.2 million versus $527.1 million in the year-prior period, according to the company.

For the fiscal full year ended February 28, Bed, Bath & Beyond posted net earnings of $957.5 million, or $5.07 per diluted share, versus $1.02 billion, or $4.79 per diluted share, in fiscal 2013. Comps increased by 2.4% versus the year earlier.

Net sales were $11.88 billion, up 3.3% from fiscal 2013. Operating profit was $1.55 billion versus $1.61 billion in the year prior, according to the company.

Bed, Bath & Beyond noted that Cost Plus World Market did not contribute to comparable sales calculations through the end of the fiscal first half of 2013, and only entered the comp result totals beginning with the 2013 third quarter.  The retailer excluded results from the Linen Holdings operations from the comparable sales calculations, and they will continue to be excluded as they represent non-retail activity, it asserted.

As of February 28, Bed, Bath & Beyond operated a total of 1,513 stores, including 1,019 namesake stores in all 50 of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, 270 stores under the names of World Market, Cost Plus World Market or Cost Plus, 96 buybuy BABY stores, including its first in Canada, 78 stores under the names Christmas Tree Shops, Christmas Tree Shops andThat! or andThat!, and 50 stores under the names Harmon or Harmon Face Values. In the fourth quarter, the company opened one Bed Bath & Beyond store, three buybuy BABY stores, and one Cost Plus World Market store. It closed one Bed Bath & Beyond store and one Cost Plus World Market store.