Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) shares traded sharply lower Thursday after the home retailer posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings but cautioned full-year profits and sales would be at the lower end of previous guidance.
Bed Bath & Beyond said adjusted earnings for the three months ending on June 1 came in at 12 cents per share, down 68.4% from the same period last year but 4 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group net revenues, the company said, fell 6.6% to $2.6 billion and essentially matched analysts' forecasts, while same-store sales tumbled 6.6%, well beyond the 3.8% decline expected by analysts that cover the group.
The retailer said it will set near-term priorities of stabilizing and driving topline growth, resetting its cost structure and reviewing its asset base and re-organizing the business structure. With those in place, the company said it expects full year targets to be at the lower end of previous guidance, which had forecast net sales of $11.4 billion to $11.7 billion and diluted earnings in the range of $2.11 to $2.20 per share.
"As I evaluate and assess the work underway, my early observations revealed that our number one priority must be a focus on stabilizing our topline and optimizing our sales opportunity," interim CEO Mary Winston told investors on a conference call late Wednesday. "This will require collaboration and refinement of initiatives across multiple areas of the business, including merchandising, marketing, branding, pricing and supply chain."
"And as I mentioned, we will also be sharpening our focus on delivering a seamless omnichannel experience, including our current in-store and digital experiences," she added. "To be clear, our efforts will be focused on opportunities to drive profitable sales growth."
Bed Bath & Beyond shares were marked 9% lower at the start of trading Thursday, the biggest single-session decline in at least 10 months, to change hands at $10.49 each, a move that would tip the stock into negative territory for the year
Bed Bath & Beyond's (2019 year) got off to a rough start in our opinion, including the worst comparable sales drop in recent memory, continued YoY gross margin degradation and SG&A expense deleverage, and a substantial diluted EPS decline," said Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba, who has a $12 price target and a hold rating on the stock.
"While management's near-term strategic priorities appear sensible to us (particularly the possibility of divesting some of it myriad non-core concepts), given the unabated multi-year deterioration in the company's fundamentals-combined with the lack of a permanent senior management team -we believe Beb Bath & Beyond is largely a "show me" story," he added.