Bed Bath and Beyond confirms weak Q4

Sales and profits were as bad as Bed Bath & Beyond initially feared due to extensive weather related store closures during the company's fourth quarter ended March 1.

The company said sales during its 13 week fourth quarter declined 5.8% to $3.2 billion while same store sales advanced 1.7%. Profits during the 13 week period declined to $333 million, or $1.60 a share, compared to the 14 week period the prior year when profits totaled $374 million, or $1.68 per share.

The uncharacteristically weak showing from Bed Bath & Beyond was not a surprise as the company had alerted investors to significant weather-related issues March 7. At that time, the retailer warned adverse weather had resulted in 464 times when a store was closed for an entire day and 1,923 times when a store was close for a partial day. The negative impact on same store sales at the time was thought to be in the range of 2% to 2.5% while earnings were expected to suffer a six to seven cents a share hit.

Those expectations proved to be accurate and reflect a situation faced by numerous other retailers who indicated severe weather negatively affected their fourth quarter performance.

Bed Bath and Beyond ended its fiscal year with a total of 1,496 stores, consisting of 1,014 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, 265 stores under the banners of World Market, Cost Plus World Market and Cost Plus, 90 buubuy BABY stores and 77 stores under various Christmas Tree Shops banners.


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