Bed, Bath & Beyond Posts Soft Q3 Sales, Earnings

For the third quarter of fiscal 2014, Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc. posted net earnings of $225.4 million, or $1.23 per diluted share, versus $237.2 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, in the year-prior period. Net sales were $2.94 billion, an increase of 2.7% from the year-earlier third quarter while comparable sales increased by 1.7%.

In the quarter, Bed, Bath & Beyond met a Thomson Reuter’s average analyst estimate.

In a conference call, Steven Temares, Bed, Bath & Beyond CEO, said that e-commerce comparable sales gained more than 40% in the quarter while store comps were flat. He noted that the company continues to invest in technology as a means of better serving customers however they prefer to shop, whether in store or through cyber access. The company also is opening a new distribution center in Las Vegas.

Temares also said that the company has expanded its product offering to include jewelry and outdoor products, as well as additional furniture segments such as dining sets. The company also has been expanding services including those regarding registry and product delivery.

In the conference call, Temares also related that the Bed, Bath & Beyond has opened its first buybuy Baby store in Canada.

An increase in couponing hit gross profit margin, in the quarter, the company stated in the conference call. SG&A increased due to technology and advertising costs.

Investments in omnichannel capabilities, Temares said, are positioning the company for long-term success, in part, by facilitating personalized product offers to consumers.

Bed Bath & Beyond maintained that it excluded Cost Plus World Market from comp calculations through the end of the fiscal first half of 2013 but included the chain beginning with the fiscal third quarter of 2013. The company added that it excluded the Linen Holdings operation from the comp calculations and will continue to do so on an ongoing basis because it represents non-retail activity.