Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. tanked 12% late Thursday after the retailer reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and sales that missed expectations, citing "softness" in in-store sales. Bed Bath & Beyond said it earned $75.3 million, or 53 cents a share, compared with $122.6 million, or 80 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales reached $2.74 billion, flat in relation to the prior-year quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 66 cents a share on sales of $2.79 billion. The company saw "strong growth" in digital channels in the quarter, but in addition to in-store softness, it also faced higher direct-to-customer shipping expenses, coupon expenses, and advertising costs during the quarter, it said in a statement. "It remains to be seen whether these challenges were more pronounced in, or unique to, the first quarter due to the smaller sales base in this period, and/or a later start to the summer selling period," it said. Shares ended the regular trading session up 0.2%.
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