Bed Bath & Beyond ( BBBY) said fourth-quarter earnings rose 37% from a year ago, blowing away analyst estimates. The house goods chain earned $144.2 million, or 47 cents a share, in the latest quarter, compared with earnings of $105.3 million, or 35 cents a share, last year. Net sales rose 23.7% to $1.30 billion while comparable-store sales grew 4.1%. Analysts had been forecasting earnings of 44 cents a share. The company said six new Bed Bath & Beyond stores were opened and one existing store relocated in the quarter, bringing the total count to 575 stores at the end of the quarter. On the Instinet late session, Bed Bath & Beyond was recently trading for $41.75, down 15 cents, or 0.4%.