Bed Bath & Beyond soars after promising report

The company has overcome rising materials costs and a competitive discounting environment over the holidays.

By Benzinga Apr 5, 2012 6:10PM

Image: Woman asleep (© Tom Grill/Corbis)By Katey Stapleton, Benzinga Staff Writer


Home decor stores are flourishing across the country as the recession fades into distant memory. And analysts are taking notice, upping price targets for Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) nearly across the board following the chain's promising Wednesday conference call.


The stock rose 8.5% Thursday to close at $71.85.


The home-products giant reported stellar results for its fiscal 2011, along with optimistic guidance suggesting 40 new locations in 2012.


For the quarter ended Feb. 25, the company reported a profit of $351 million, or $1.48 per share, up from $284 million, or $1.12 per share, a year earlier. This easily beat analysts' consensus estimates of $1.33.


Revenue came in at $2.73 billion, a 9.1% increase over $2.5 billion the company reported a year earlier. Wall Street was looking for $2.66 billion. Same-store sales, a key indicator of retail performance, rose by 6.8% in the quarter.


Many analysts noted the obstacles Bed Bath & Beyond has strived to overcome throughout the past year, including a spike in cotton prices and intense holiday price promotions throughout the home division. Wedbush was one of at least six firms boosting estimates or price targets on the stock, and reiterated its "outperform" rating.


The company should benefit from its dominant industry position, future growth potential for newer concepts, and strong balance sheet and cash flow, Wedbush analysts wrote in a report. "We remain a believer in BBBY," the analysts added, raising their price target on the stock to $82 from $80.


Bed Bath & Beyond isn't the only retailer with good news. Pier 1 Imports (PIR) made upbeat announcements this week that suggest the company is no longer in a turnaround phase, according to Oppenheimer.


The stock is once again paying a regular quarterly dividend, Oppenheimer analysts wrote in a report. "We view the PIR investment story to still have legs," the analysts added. "Shares in our view significantly underestimate the longer-term earnings and cash flow potential of the chain."


Williams-Sonoma (WSM) and Kirkland (KIRK), while not as widely praised as Pier 1 and Bed Bath and Beyond, are performing respectably as well. Canaccord increased its price target on Williams-Sonoma to $55 from $53 on April 3rd.


All of the retailers stand to benefit as the economy recovers and household budgets allow for a few more purchases of home decor and kitchen tools. These chains also stand to improve along with the housing market, since they are a key stop along the way for new homeowners.


Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond are up 24% this year. Pier 1 rose 3% Thursday to close at $18.80, and has gained 35% this year. Kirkland has risen 22% this year to close at $16.26, while Williams-Sonoma was flat Thursday and has seen shares slide 2% this year.


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7Comments
Apr 9, 2012 10:47AM
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My mom likes shopping at Bed Bath & Beyond, so I'm sure this news will make her happy.
Apr 9, 2012 10:16AM
Apr 9, 2012 10:08AM
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That's a solid brand and a solid company. It'll be fine for a long time.
Apr 9, 2012 10:05AM
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I shop here all the time. Love this store. Those little bath bubbles are amazing.
Apr 9, 2012 10:03AM
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Kirkland not as highly praised?  Umm, hello?!?! Ever heard of COSTCO?!
Apr 9, 2012 10:02AM
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Bed Bath and Beyond is such an expensive store, especially in comparison to other stores like it. I'm surprised they're doing so well, when others can easily offer the same products for lower prices. I think it's something in the name that attracts people to it. 
Apr 9, 2012 10:01AM
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I'm not sure I believe in the story, seems to only be crowded when college freshman need dorm stuff
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