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Tickers in this Article: BBBY
Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq:BBBY) announced its results for the third quarter on December 19, 2012. Bed Bath & Beyond is a chain of retail stores that sells products for the home.

Investors should care about a company's quarterly earnings because it shows the state of the business over the past 90 days and provides guidance for the following 90 days. SEE: Earnings: Quality Means Everything

The Numbers: Bed Bath & Beyond's latest numbers were good, as the company announced EPS and revenues that came in ahead predictions. The company reported $1.03 per share versus the $1.02 per share estimate and revenues of $2.7 billion versus the $2.25 billion estimate. EPS rose 8.4% while revenue climbed 15.3% from the same period last year. Bed Bath & Beyond's revenue has grown during each of the past four quarters on a year-over-year basis. The company's net income for the quarter was $232.8 million. According to the reported number, this is up 1.8% from last year's figures.

Management Quote: "Our Board authorized this new share repurchase program based upon its continued confidence in our Company's long-term growth potential, financial outlook and cash flow generation," said Steven Temares, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors. "It is anticipated that this $2.5 billion share repurchase program will be funded from current cash and future cash flows. That said, our Company's Board of Directors continues to review our capital structure on an ongoing basis. In addition to providing value to our shareholders through share repurchase programs, our strong operations should allow us to continue to invest in our infrastructure and maintain our flexibility to take advantage of opportunities as they may arise."

A Look Back: Gross margin shrank 1.2 percentage points to 39.8%. The contraction appeared to be driven by increased costs, which rose 17.5% from the year earlier quarter while revenue rose 15.3%.

Net income has increased 11.8% year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, when income climbed 23.8% from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Ahead: The outlook for the company's results in the upcoming quarter is unfavorable. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is $1.75 per share, down from $1.77 90 days ago. Decreasing earnings estimates is generally a negative sign as it suggests analyst believe future earnings to be weaker than previously anticipated. At $4.62 per share, the average estimate for the fiscal year has fallen from $4.67 90 days ago.

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