Bed Bath & Beyond Comps Surge Online, Run Flat In Store

For the third quarter of fiscal 2015, Bed Bath & Beyond posted net earnings of $177.8 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, compared with $225.4 million, or $1.23 per diluted share, for the year-earlier period. Comparable sales slipped 0.4% but came in flat on a constant currency basis, the company reported.

Diluted earnings per share match a Zacks Investment Research analyst average estimate.

Comparable sales from customer facing e-commerce operations grew in excess of 25%, Bed Bath & Beyond officials said, while comparable sales from stores declined in the low single digit percentage range during the fiscal 2015 third quarter.

Officials with the retailer said that the year-over-year net earnings per diluted share comparison in the third quarter took a 13 cent hit based on a non-recurring credit card fee litigation settlement benefit that occurred in the 2014 period, and lower net after-tax benefits in the 2015 period as well as unfavorable foreign currency rate impact.

Net sales in the quarter were $2.95 billion, up 0.3% from the fiscal 2014 period with net sales on a constant currency basis were up 0.7%.

In a conference call, Steven Temares, Bed Bath & Beyond CEO, said that in the e-commerce side of the business, the number of visits and number of orders placed via desktop and mobile device gained in the third quarter. He noted that, in mobile, key performance indicators hit record levels in the quarter including traffic, orders, sales, average order value and conversion. Mobile sales in the period increased 2.5 times versus the period last year.

Temares added that the trend of strong comp gains in e-commerce and softness in stores was evident again in the third quarter. He noted that investment in online capacities has depressed Bed Bath & Beyond earnings but is paying off by increasing the returns from the company’s multichannel strategy. He said that comps as the fourth quarter began were slightly ahead of plan.