Incredible Digital Sales Aren't Enough to Boost Bed Bath & Beyond

When Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday, the specialty retailer said that it had $0.08 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.6 billion in revenue. Consensus estimates had called for $0.19 in EPS on $2.75 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had a net loss of $0.38 per share on revenue of $2.76 billion.

During the latest quarter, net sales decreased 5% year over year, primarily due to the significant portfolio transformation, including the planned divestitures of noncore banners and store closing activity as part of the firm’s network optimization initiative.

Comparable sales increased for the second consecutive quarter, driven by 5% growth in the core Bed Bath & Beyond banner. Total enterprise comparable sales increased 2%. Comparable sales benefited from significantly strong growth in digital channels, including about 94% growth in the Bed Bath & Beyond banner and total enterprise growth of approximately 77%.

Management noted that the consistent execution of its growth strategy is unlocking improved financial performance and the firm delivered a second consecutive quarter of comparable sales and profit growth. Additionally, Bed Bath & Beyond drove strong cash flow generation and balance sheet improvements in the third quarter and has reinitiated capital return to shareholders.

The company declined to issue fiscal fourth-quarter guidance, citing uncertainty regarding COVID-19. Consensus estimates so far call for $0.63 in EPS and $2.92 billion in revenue for the quarter.

Regarding guidance, the company did note that healthy revenue growth trends continue in the Company’s digital business and in its top destination categories. Further, the company remains focused on the key drivers of gross margin expansion and on optimizing costs.

Bed Bath & Beyond stock traded down nearly 10% to $19.04 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $3.43 to $26.16. The consensus price target is $24.29.

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