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Breaking Down Bed Bath & Beyond’s First Quarter

By Motley Fool Staff – Jul 6, 2016 at 8:00AM

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The most important numbers from this quarter, and how investors should look at the company’s five-year low.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY 3.78%) fell to a five-year low last week after a weak first-quarter report. The home-goods retailer is certainly showing its maturity -- a bit of graying around the edges that's occurred over the years, though it's tried to give itself a bit of a facelift. Recently it purchased trendy flash-sale site One King's Lane, but that e-commerce entry might not be enough to update the retailer.

In this clip from the Market Foolery podcast, Motley Fool superstars Chris Hill and Bill Barker talk about the investing potential left in this stock, one way you might be able to profit, and why its low price isn't as tempting as it might initially seem.

A transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Jun. 23, 2016. 

Chris Hill: Alright, let's get to some company news. Bed Bath & Beyond's first quarter was a miss. They missed on profit, on revenue, on same-store sales. And, perhaps not surprisingly, shares of Bed Bath & Beyond have hit a five-year low this morning. What do you do here? Because you know that there's investors out there saying: "This is a value play."

Bill Barker: That's the question -- is this a value trap, or is there some value here? Bed Bath & Beyond are basically subject to the same sort of retail pressures as many other companies, some of which we'll discuss in a minute. They've not been able to grow at the rate at which it had, prior to online retail becoming the force that it is. Nevertheless, Bed Bath & Beyond has continued to grow sales every year. It's grown sales, but it hasn't grown profits, and it has not even really grown earnings per share very much, even though it's aggressively bought back shares. As you mentioned, it's reaching some new lows, and it's been cut in half. A lot of those shares were repurchased at price of significantly higher, basically double what the price is today. So, when you look at eight times earnings right now, and the earnings have been reasonably flat, but reasonably OK, sort of $5 a share, and you say: "Well, there aren't that many companies trading in this market at a P/E of 8x who don't seem to be in massive trouble." But I don't know that it's going to be a good investment unless it convinces people that there's a brighter future than a present.

Hill: This also seems like the type of buying opportunity, if you want to think of it that way, where you would have to have this stock on an unbelievably short leash. I think if you're looking at this and saying, "Well, on a valuation basis, it's really cheap. From a price standpoint, it's at a five-year low. I think I can squeeze some value out of this." But it seems like, OK, if you're going to go ahead and do that, you had better be watching this stock every single day for the rest of 2016, waiting for whatever type of pop you're thinking of, out of whatever your investing thesis is.

Barker: Maybe. I guess you can take the position that it just seems to be safer than a lot of other things, simply because of the price. The price is providing a bit of a net here. If online and the various other ... not all of the competitive pressure comes online. And they have their own online business. You can go to Bed Bath & Beyond and see that they have plenty of things for sale, and they get online sales.

Bill Barker has no position in any stocks mentioned. Chris Hill has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Bed Bath and Beyond. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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