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Bed Bath & Beyond Shares Spike as Digital Sales Rise

Bed Bath & Beyond shares spiked as the home-goods chain reported digital sales rose more than 85% in April.
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Bed Bath & Beyond  (BBBY) - Get Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Report shares jumped on Monday after the home-goods chain  reported that digital sales have grown by more than 85% in April. 

The Union, N.J., retailer also said that its stores would remain closed until at least May 16, except for its Buy Buy Baby and Harmon Face Values brands. 

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last Friday, Bed Bath & Beyond said that to support the rise in digital sales, it converted about a quarter of its U.S. and Canada stores to regional fulfillment centers. And in turn the company brought several hundred associates back from furlough.

"In addition," the company said, "hundreds more new positions have been created in the company’s e-commerce distribution centers to meet the increased demand across digital channels."

The company two weeks ago reported a surprise earnings beat when it reported results. 

Bed Bath & Beyond said then that adjusted earnings for the three months ended March 2, the company's fiscal fourth quarter, were 38 cents a share. That was down 68% from the year-earlier period but 18 cents ahead of the Wall Street consensus forecast.

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Net sales, the company reported, fell 6.1% to $3.1 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $3 billion tally. Comparable-store sales fell 10%, Bed Bath & Beyond said, while digital sales tumbled 16% amid weaker holiday activity.

The retailer said it wouldn't provide profit guidance for the current fiscal year. It noted that the covid-19 pandemic would hurt its performance as stores remain shuttered in both the U.S. and Canada. 

It also suspended plans to spend $600 million on share buybacks, dividends and debt reduction.

"Frankly, it seems like a different place and time. Life as we knew it before March is a distant memory." Chief Executive Mark Tritton told investors on a conference call at the time. 

"So in this moment, we are taking a holistic approach to managing our financial position, including larger efforts to reduce operating costs and strengthen our liquidity."

At last check Bed Bath & Beyond shares were 27% higher at $6.64. In 2020 through Friday's trading the stock had given up 70%.