The war economy continues to affect different companies differently.
Bed Bath and Beyond
were up after the company said fourth-quarter profit increased 27.4%, and beat analysts' estimate by 2 cents, led by a 19% increase in sales.
Executives also said during a conference call that first-quarter 2004 earnings will match analysts' consensus estimate and raised their full-year earnings guidance to bring it in line with the analyst consensus.
Recently, shares were up 1.78% to $36.11 on the news.
The Union, N.J.-based company earned $105.3 million, or 35 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 1, compared with $82.7 million, or 28 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2002. Analysts were expecting 33 cents a share.
Total sales were $1.05 billion, up 19.4% from last year. During the quarter, comparable store sales were up 4.1%, the company said. The company said it opened three new stores as well.
For the first quarter of 2004, Bed Bath and Beyond expects to earn 18 cents a share. For full-year 2004, the company expects $1.20, up from its original expectation of $1.18. The company earned 15 cents a share in the first quarter of 2003 and $1 a share for that year.
Separately, the company named Steven H. Temares as its president and chief operating officer. Temares replaced Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein, who founded the company in 1971. They will remain co-chairmen.
The company said the new management structure was in keeping with new standards for corporate governance, which endorse separating the positions of chairman and CEO.