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Bed Bath begins new fiscal year as planned

Improvements in the housing market that have lifted the fortunes of Home Depot and Lowe’s so far this year extended to leading home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, which reported solid sales growth late Wednesday.

The company produced earnings per share of 93 cents that met analysts’ consensus estimate and fell with the guidance range of 88 cents to 94 cents, on sales that grew 17.8% to slightly more than $2.6 billion. Same store sales rose 3.4% during the first quarter ended June 1, on top of a prior year comp increase of 3%.

During the quarter, the company’s store count increased to 1,478 units, compared to 1,471 stores in operation at the end of its fiscal year on March 2. The company operates 1,008 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, 266 stores under the World Market and Cost Plus World Market banners, 83 buybuy BABY stores, 73 stores under the names of Christmas Tree Shops or andThat! and 48 stores under the Harmon and Harmon Face Values banners.