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Bed Bath & Beyond Shares Slump After Disappointing Q3 Earnings

Bed Bath & Beyond said comparable holiday quarter sales would likely be in-line with last year's levels after posting weaker-than-expected third quarter profits Thursday.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.  (BBBY) - Get Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Report posted weaker-than-expected third quarter earnings Thursday and said comparable store sales for the current period are likely to be in-line with last year's levels.

Bed Bath & Beyond said adjusted earnings for the three months ending on November 30, the company's fiscal third quarter, were pegged at 8 cents per share. That's up 46% from the same period last year but 12 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. 

Group net sales, the company said, fell 5% to $2.6 billion, again missing analysts' estimates of a $2.75 billion tally. Comparable store sales rose 2%, Bed Bath & Beyond said, thanks in part to "significantly strong growth in digital channels".

"We knew this holiday season would be like no other and we took several steps in advance to help our customers shop safely and with ease, including over 100 meaningful improvements to our digital-first, omni-always customer experience and enhancements to our contactless new Store and Curbside Pickup and Same Day Delivery service offerings," said CEO Mark Tritton. "We are delighted by the strong customer response to these efforts. We are seeing a deepening level of recognition and engagement from our customers, including the more than 2 million new online customers in the third quarter."

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"We are also seeing favorable market share trends in several of our key destination categories, including positive share gains over the past two months within the Bed category," he added.

Bed Bath & Beyond shares were marked 14.1% lower in early Thursday to change hands at $18.05 each, a move that would still leave the stock with a six-month gain of around 78%.

The retailer said it wouldn't provide profit guidance for the current fiscal quarter, but noted that 2021 earnings would be in the range of $500 million to $525 million. The group also boosted the top end of its share repurchase program by $150 million to $825 million.