Updated from 5:27 p.m. EST

Bed Bath & Beyond ( BBBY) saw revenue jump more than 20% year over year and its third-quarter earnings beat estimates on Wednesday.

The company raised guidance for the current fiscal year in a conference call after releasing earnings.

The Union, N.J.-based company reported net income of $75.1 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, on $936 million in sales in its quarter ended Nov. 30. Bed Bath & Beyond earned $53 million, or 18 cents per share, on $759.4 million in sales in the same period last year.

Wall Street analysts had been expecting the home-furnishings chain to post profits of 23 cents per share on about $924 million in revenue, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

In addition to the companywide numbers, Bed Bath & Beyond turned in a strong performance in same-store sales. Comparable-store sales at the retailer grew by 8% in the quarter, compared with 5.8% in the same period last year.

Same-store sales compare results at outlets open for more than one year.

In a conference call, company executives raised earnings projections for Bed Bath & Beyond's fiscal year 3 cents to 98 cents per share. Wall Street analysts had expected the company to post earnings of 96 cents per share for the year. Meanwhile, company executives said they were comfortable with projections that the company will earn $1.18 in its 2003 fiscal year.

Bed Bath & Beyond expects its same store sales to grow by 3% to 5% in the fourth quarter. In the holiday quarter last year last year, the company's same store sales grew by nearly 12%, making year over year comparisons difficult this year, company executives said.

By the end of its 2002 fiscal year, the company plans to be operating 491 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, up 95 from the end of its fiscal year 2001. The home furnishings retailer plans to continue its rapid store growth next year, expecting to add another 88 Bed Bath & Beyond stores.

Bed Bath & Beyond's results were "outstanding," said Rick Nelson, who covers the company for Stephens. The company beat Nelson's earnings per share estimate by 2 cents and doubled his projections for comparable store growth.

The only challenges standing in the company's way are a difficult economic environment and comparison's with last year's results, Nelson said. But the company should do well in spite of the challenges, he said. "They just execute really, really well," he said.

Bed Bath & Beyond's strong sales come as other retailers have been struggling. Retailers such as Wal-Mart ( WMT), Target ( TGT) and Sears ( S) reported that their same-store sales either dropped last month or came in below their expectations. Meanwhile, ShopperTrak RCT has projected that retail sales will fall 5.4% this month compared with last December.

Bed Bath & Beyond shares traded down 43 cents, or 1.3%, to $32.33 in regular trading Wednesday. In after-hours trading, Bed Bath & Beyond shares traded up $1.22 to $33.50.