Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) saw its shares soar in late trading Wednesday after the retailer posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that handily topped expectations.
The vendor of housewares also gave fiscal 2011 and first-quarter guidance that was in-line with expectations. The company forecast an earnings-per-share increase of between 10% and 15% in the new fiscal year, in line with the Street’s projection for a 14% increase. In the fiscal first quarter, Bed Bath & Beyond expects earnings to range between 58 cents and 61 cents a share, in line with expectations for 60 cents a share.
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In the fourth quarter, the company posted net income of $283.5 million, or $1.12 per share, compared with year-ago profit of $226 million, or 86 cents a share.
Net sales rose 11.6% during the quarter to $2.51 billion, up from $2.24 billion in the fourth quarter of last year.
The results easily topped the Street’s fourth-quarter expectations. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted earnings of 97 cents per share on revenue of $2.39 billion.
The retailer said bought back $199 million of its common stock, or roughly 4.1 million shares.
Gross margin widened to 43% from 42.6%, as comparable-store sales improved by 8.5%, versus last year’s fourth-quarter increase of 11.5%.
Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond rose 1% on Wednesday, closing the day at $49.39. The stock was up another $4.11, or 8.3%, in after-hours trading.