Bed Bath & Beyond posts gains

From Reuters

Home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. said Wednesday that its quarterly profit rose 6%, helped by sales growth and the opening of 33 flagship-brand stores.

Third-quarter net income rose to $142.4 million, or 50 cents a share, from $134.6 million, or 45 cents, in the year-earlier period. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 52 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The Union, N.J.-based company said quarterly sales rose to about $1.6 billion from $1.4 billion a year earlier.

Bed Bath & Beyond said sales at stores open at least a year, a key retail measure known as same-store sales, rose 4.6% versus a 3.1% gain a year earlier.

Also Wednesday, the retailer's board approved a $1-billion stock repurchase program, its fourth since 2004, which it said should be completed over the next two years.

Bed Bath & Beyond said it expected to see a $40-million charge for the fourth quarter, stemming from potential cash payments to a program the company designed to protect employees from tax consequences related to a Securities and Exchange Commission review of its stock option grants.

Bed Bath & Beyond said in October that it would review any potential tax implications relating to option grants and restricted share awards.

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