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Bed Bath & Beyond Shares Slump After Holiday Quarter Sales Slide

Bed Bath & Beyond says fourth-quarter comparable-store sales were down 20% from last year as the pandemic kept shoppers away from the home-focused retailer.

Bed Bath & Beyond  (BBBY) - Get Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings Wednesday but saw net sales slide below Wall Street forecasts as the pandemic and store closures took its toll on holiday shopping traffic. 

Bed Bath & Beyond said adjusted earnings for the three months ended in February came in at 40 cents per share, up 5.3% from the same period last year and 9 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, the company said, fell 16% to $2.6 billion, just shy of analysts' estimates of a $2.626  billion tally. 

Digital sales surged 86% from last year, helping what Bed Bath & Beyond called "total enterprise comparable sales' rise 4%, However, comparable store sales were down 20% from last year, the earnings release noted. 

Looking into the current fiscal year, Bed Bath & Beyond said it sees net sales in the region of $8 billion to $8.2 billion and adjusted earnings of between $500 million and $525 million.

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"Fiscal 2020 was a year of fast-paced transformation in which we reformed the past, overcame extraordinary circumstances of the present, and established a firm foundation for the future," said CEO Mark Tritton. "Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we relentlessly focused on taking purposeful and bold steps to transform our entire organization and remained true to our plans to rebuild our authority in Home and restore this iconic Company."

"We are excited to start fresh in 2021 with our sharpened size and scale, a healthier portfolio of core banners and a stronger financial position to execute the first phase of our 3-year transformation journey," he added.  

Bed Bath & Beyond shares were marked 14.25% lower inearly trading following the earnings release to change hands at $23.80 each, trimming the stock's year-to-date gain to around 32%.