Bed Bath & Beyond

(BBY) - Get Report

said its third-quarter earnings rose 21% from a year ago, boosted by higher sales across an expanding store base.

The Union, N.J., domestic goods retailer earned $121.9 million, or 40 cents a share, in the three months to Nov. 27, compared with earnings of $100.5 million, or 33 cents a share, last year. Revenue rose 11% from a year ago to $1.31 billion on a 3.1% rise in same-store sales.

Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 39 cents a share on $1.33 billion in sales.

The company also authorized the repurchase of $350 million in common shares. The program begins today and allows buybacks over the next 12 months.

Bed Bath & Beyond operated a total of 698 stores at Nov. 27, 2004, making up 22.4 million square feet of store space. The company expects to open about 20 Bed Bath & Beyond stores in the fourth quarter, bringing the total opened in 2004 to 85.