Will Housing Push Bed Bath & Beyond Earnings Higher?

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY  ) will release its quarterly report on Wednesday, as investors have responded to the upsurge in the housing market by pushing the company's stock to all-time highs during the past quarter. But the big question is whether growth in Bed Bath & Beyond earnings will keep up with the expectations investors have for the home-furnishings retailer.

Bed Bath & Beyond has fared much better than many big-box retailers because of its specific niche. Meanwhile, many customers prefer to see the products they plan to put in their homes in person before buying them, helping Bed Bath & Beyond to fend off online competition from Amazon.com  (NASDAQ: AMZN  )  and other Internet-based retailers. Moreover, the items the retailer sells often carry relatively low price points or are inconvenient to ship. 

Let's take an early look at what's been happening with Bed Bath & Beyond over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its report.

Stats on Bed Bath & Beyond

Analyst EPS Estimate

$1.15

Change From Year-Ago EPS

17.3%

Revenue Estimate

$2.81 billion

Change From Year-Ago Revenue

8.5%

Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters

1

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Can Bed Bath & Beyond earnings impress investors this quarter?
In recent months, analysts have been guardedly optimistic about the near-term prospects for Bed Bath & Beyond earnings, boosting estimates for the quarter that ended in August by a penny per share. The stock has continued its upward run, climbing another 7% since mid-June.

Bed Bath & Beyond's previous quarter was a bit disappointing for investors. The retailer managed to post slightly better revenue figures than expected for the period ending in May, with earnings matching consensus figures on a 3.4% rise in same-store sales. But guidance for the full fiscal year fell somewhat short of what investors had hoped the company would earn, raising fears about whether the stock's gains are sustainable.

One big question for Bed Bath & Beyond is whether higher-end competitors will benefit even more from housing's resurgence. Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM  ) and Restoration Hardware (NYSE: RH  ) have both seen their shares climb even more impressively recently, as customers start to feel more comfortable spending on their homes again. With both first-time homebuyers and move-up home purchases driving sales, Bed Bath & Beyond needs to cater to customers of all income levels.

Arguably the biggest key to Bed Bath & Beyond's long-term success is holding off Amazon. On that score, Bed Bath & Beyond appears to be succeeding. One group of analysts looked at 30 key items at both retailers and found that Bed Bath & Beyond's prices were cheaper than Amazon's by 6.5%, even before accounting for discount coupons that the big-box retailer often offers. With added costs of maintaining stores, low prices hit margins, yet they could be the best way to fend off Amazon and survive as a force in the industry.

In the Bed Bath & Beyond earnings release, look closely for any comments on the recent rise in mortgage rates on its business. If the housing market weakens, investors could fear that Bed Bath & Beyond's recent success could reverse itself in the near future.

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  • Report this Comment On September 25, 2013, at 1:42 AM, RF1971 wrote:

    BBBY. Visited the store last weekend, Saturday. I live in Las Vegas reference the housing comments above and vegas is just not your typical housing market.Traffic was light but steady. Have a small position but on the fence for tomorrows earnings report.

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