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BBBY finishes year off strong

UNION, N.J. — Bed Bath & Beyond continues to dominate the home and housewares space and reported another quarter of impressive sales and earnings growth.

For its fourth quarter ended Feb. 25, the company reported net earnings of $351 million, or $1.48 per diluted share, an increase of approximately 32% versus net earnings $283.5 million, or $1.12 per diluted share, in the same quarter a year ago.  Net sales for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2011 were approximately $2.7 billion, an increase of approximately 9.1% from net sales of approximately $2.5 billion reported in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2010.  Comparable-store sales in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2011 increased by approximately 6.8%, compared with an increase of approximately 8.5% in last year's fiscal fourth quarter.

For the fiscal year, the company reported net earnings of $989.5 million, or $4.06 per diluted share, an increase of approximately 32% over net earnings of $791.3 million, or $3.07 per diluted share, a year ago. Net sales for fiscal 2011 were approximately $9.5 billion, an increase of approximately 8.5% from net sales of approximately $8.7 billion in the prior fiscal year. Comparable-store sales for fiscal 2011 increased by approximately 5.9%, compared with an increase of approximately 7.8% in last year.

By the end of its fiscal year, Bed Bath & Beyond had a total of 1,173 stores, including 993 Bed Bath & Beyond stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, 71 Christmas Tree Shops stores, 64 buybuy BABY stores and 45 stores under the names of Harmon or Harmon Face Values. During the fiscal fourth quarter, the company opened three buybuy BABY stores and closed one Harmon store.