Bed Bath & Beyond Drops as Profit Forecast Trails Estimates

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. shares tumbled the most in three months after the retail chain’s first-quarter profit forecast fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Earnings will be 92 cents to 96 cents a share in the period, the Union, New Jersey-based company said yesterday in a statement. Analysts had estimated $1.02 on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The U.S. retail industry is suffering from still-shaky consumer spending and diminished traffic at shopping centers. Brick-and-mortar sellers of home goods also face increased competition from e-commerce retailers such as Inc. Growth of Bed Bath & Beyond’s same-store sales -- a measure of locations open at least a year -- slowed to 2.4 percent in fiscal 2013, from 2.7 percent the prior year.

Bed Bath & Beyond shares fell 6.2 percent to $63.72 at the close in New York, marking the biggest one-day drop since Jan. 9. The stock has declined 21 percent this year.

The company -- which runs the Cost Plus World Market and Buybuy Baby stores, in addition to its flagship chain -- has almost 1,500 locations in 50 states. Last quarter it opened three Bed Bath & Beyond stores and four Buybuy Baby locations.

Fourth-quarter net income fell 11 percent to $333.3 million, or $1.60 a share, from $373.9 million, or $1.68, a year earlier. Net sales declined 5.8 percent to $3.2 billion in the period, which ended March 1.

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