NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Bed Bath & Beyond ( BBBY) said Wednesday first-quarter earnings rose 4.5% to 93 cents a share compared to a year earlier, meeting Wall Street earnings despite a decline in quarterly profit.

Net income for the quarter was $202.5 million, down 2% from the prior year of $206.8 million, the Union, N.J.-based home furnishings and home decor retailer said in its earnings release.

However, net sales jumped approximately 17.8% to $2.61 billion, slightly ahead of analysts' estimates of $2.6 billion.

Bed Bath & Beyond comparable store sales for the quarter rose by 3.4% compared to 3% in last year's fiscal first quarter.

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The company said that net earnings per diluted share included $2.6 million, or 1 cent a share, of net tax benefits versus $14.6 million, or 6 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2012.

Shares of the company, which also operates brands like buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops and Harmon, traded up 1.7% on Wednesday to close at $70. The stock was slightly higher in after-hours trading following the report, gaining 0.6% to $70.40.

Bed Bath & Beyond forecasts second quarter net earnings to be approximately $1.11 to $1.16 a share, and, full-year earnings in the range of $4.84 to $5.01 a share, consistent with its prior guidance prior estimate, it said.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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