In a research note to clients, Morgan Stanley analyst Simeon Gutman raised his outlook on the company to equal weight from underweight, pointing to "activist attention" that he feels "may untether stock performance from underlying results."
Three activist funds last month announced they have built a roughly 5% stake in Bed Bath & Beyond and will attempt to replace the company's entire 12-member board of directors and its chief executive. The activist group has nominated 16 new board members and plans to recruit a new CEO. The Wall Street Journal first reported the group's plans.
The activist group sees an opportunity to push for changes because Bed Bath & Beyond stock has lost more than 80% of its value since 2015. Bed Bath & Beyond's same-store sales have also fallen two years in a row.
The group - Legion Partners, Macellum Advisors, and Ancora Advisors - blames cluttered stores and a confusing pricing strategy for the company's prolonged slump.
Gutman also raised his price target on Bed Bath & Beyond shares to $20 from $13. The stock was trading up 22 cents at $17.81 in trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.
Bed Bath & Beyond's revenue is expected by analysts to fall 10.2% to $3.3 billion when it reports quarterly results on April 10. The company is expected to post earnings of $1.12 a share. A year earlier, Bed Bath & Beyond earned $1.48 a share on sales of $3.7 billion.