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Bed Bath & Beyond Profit Rises 24%


Home furnishing retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) said Wednesday after the markets closed that its fourth quarter profit rose 24% from last year, as sales increased and the company reigned in on expenses.

The company's quarterly earnings per share also came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly sales. However, the company gave a slightly downbeat earnings forecast for the first quarter.

Bed Bath & Beyond shares are currently gaining 5.83% in after hours trading after closing the day's regular trading session at $66.23, down 76 cents or 1.13%. the shares trade in a 52-week range of $47.89 to $68.20.

Bed Bath & Beyond operates a chain of retail stores, selling a wide assortment of domestics merchandise and home furnishings.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the company had a total of 1,173 stores, including 993 Bed Bath & Beyond stores, 71 Christmas Tree Shops stores, 64 buybuy BABY stores and 45 stores under the names of Harmon or Harmon Face Values.

Bed Bath & Beyond has been consistently reporting higher quarterly profits in the last couple of years.

For the fourth quarter ended February 25, 2012, the Union, New Jersey-based company reported net income of $351.0 million or $1.48 per share, compared to $283.5 million or $1.12 per share for the year-ago quarter.

On average, 26 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $1.33 per share for the fourth quarter.

Net sales for the fourth quarter rose 9.1% to $2.73 billion from $2.50 billion in the same quarter last year. Twenty-three analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $2.66 billion for the fourth quarter.

Same-store sales for the fourth quarter increased about 6.8%.

Selling, general and administrative expenses for the quarter fell to $612.9 million from $615.4 million a year ago.

During the fourth quarter, the company repurchased about 5.9 million shares for about $359 million. As of February 25, 2012, about $919 million of authorization was remaining the current share repurchase program.

Looking forward, the company forecast first quarter earnings of $0.79 to $0.83 per share. Analysts currently expect the company to earn $0.82 per share for the quarter.

The company also said it expects full year fiscal 2012 earnings to increase by a high single to a low double digit percentage. Analysts currently project an earnings per share growth of 14%.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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