As Bed Bath & Beyond continues to boost its digital and multichannel retail plans, the company reported that sales edged up in its fourth quarter and fiscal year while earnings declined as a reflection of its strategic investments. Still, the retailer did beat Wall Street’s performance expectations.
For the fiscal fourth quarter ended February 27, Bed Bath & Beyond posted net earnings of $303.5 million, or $1.91 per diluted share, versus $321.1 million, or $1.80 per diluted share, for the fiscal 2014 period. Net earnings per diluted share for the fourth quarter included about six cents net benefit for non-recurring items including a favorable state audit settlement, the company reported.
Bed Bath & Beyond beat an analyst average estimate published by MarketBeat by four cents per diluted share.
Comparable sales in the quarter increased by 1.7% versus the year-earlier period, while comps on a constant currency basis gained 2.1% year over year. Comparable sales from customer-facing digital channels grew by more than 25% in the quarter, Bed Bath & Beyond stated, while stores comps were relatively flat versus the 2014 period.
Net sales were $3.42 billion, up 2.4% from the fiscal 2014 fourth quarter, while net sales on a constant currency basis increased 2.8% versus the year-prior period.
For the full fiscal year, Bed Bath & Beyond posted net earnings of $841.5 million, or $5.10 per diluted share, versus $957.5 million, or $5.07 per diluted share, for fiscal 2014. Net earnings for the fiscal year also included the six cents per diluted share benefit for non-recurring items.
Comparable sales increased by 1% versus the year earlier, while comps on a constant currency basis gained 1.4% year over year. Net sales were $12.1 billion, up 1.9% from fiscal 2014 while net sales on a constant currency basis increased 2.3% versus the year prior.
“Our fiscal 2015 financial performance reflects the benefit of the significant investments in our business, steady progress on our strategic initiatives and the return of more than $1.1 billion to our shareholders through share repurchase,” said Steven Temares, Bed Bath & Beyond CEO. “We reported fiscal 2015 net earnings per diluted share of $5.10 including a six cent net benefit for certain non-recurring items. Excluding this net benefit, we were at $5.04, which marks the fourth year in a row that we have been in this four-and-a-half to just over five dollar range since we entered a heavy investment phase several years ago, and we believe we can again achieve earnings per share at the high end of this range this year and, in the event our comp is higher than the 1% to 2% range we’re modeling, exceed it.”
Bed Bath & Beyond operates a total of 1,530 stores, including 1,020 namesake stores, 276 stores under the names of World Market, Cost Plus World Market or Cost Plus, 105 buybuy Baby stores, 78 stores under the banners Christmas Tree Shops, Christmas Tree Shops andThat! or andThat!, and 51 stores under Harmon or Harmon Face Values. During the fiscal fourth quarter, the company opened one Bed Bath & Beyond store, five buybuy Baby stores, two Cost Plus World Market stores and one Harmon store. It closed three Bed Bath & Beyond stores and two Cost Plus World Market stores.