Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) once again disappointed investors this week by reporting dismal results for the second quarter, marked by a surprise fall in same-store sales. The results, weakened by the continuing squeeze on margins from cost escalation, also missed Wall Street estimates. Shares of the Home décor retailer fell about 15% in the selloff that followed the announcement.
Second-quarter profit plunged to $48.64 million or $0.36 per share from $94.23 million or $0.67 per share in the corresponding period a year earlier. Analysts had predicted a slower decrease.
The company recorded net sales of $2.94 billion during the quarter, which is broadly unchanged from the year-ago quarter but below the consensus forecast. Comparable store sales dropped 0.6%, defying expectations for a modest increase, as the effects of higher sales from the customer-facing digital channels were more than offset by lower store sales elsewhere.
Shares of the Home décor retailer fell about 15% in the selloff that followed the announcement
During the quarter, the company repurchased about 2.1 million shares for $41 million. It also declared a quarterly dividend of $.16 per share, to be paid on January 15, 2019, to shareholders on December 14, 2018.
The fact that the company had registered flat sales in the first quarter too indicates the underlying softness in demand. The poor sales performance and cost-driven margin pressures dragged down earnings by 42% in the May quarter.
Unlike most of its peers in the sector, New Jersey-based Bed Bath and Beyond is taking baby steps in e-commerce. So, it is very important for the company to retain store footfall if it intends to regain the past glory. Recovery will also depend on the management’s ability to cash in on the positive factors, such as the favorable inventory position, economic growth and benefits of the recent tax reform.
Shares of Bed Bath and Beyond have been in a free fall since 2013, losing about 75% without registering any meaningful recovery during the period. The stock closed Wednesday’s regular session lower and dropped more than 15% in the after-hours.
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