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A holiday headache for Bed Bath & Beyond

Soft sales at leading home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond led to a puny comp increase of 1.3%, lower than expected third quarter profits and a downward revision to fourth quarter expectations.

Sales for the company’s third quarter ended November 30 increased 6% to nearly $2.9 billion while earnings per share rose 8.7% to $1.12, three cents less than analysts forecast. As a result of the softness in top line results, the company reduced its fourth quarter profit forecast to a range of $1.60 to $1.67 from prior guidance of $1.70 to $1.77. The company now expects full year earnings per share to be in the range of $4.79 to $4.86 versus earlier guidance in the range of $4.88 to $5.01.

The company ended the third quarter with a total of 1,491 stores, including 1,011 Bed Bath & Beyond stores and various other formats.