Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY), a premier home furnishings retailer of bed and bath accessories, kitchen textiles, and cooking supplies, are down 5% as of 10:30 a.m. EST Friday, following other retailers lower after weak quarterly results.
Likely a key culprit behind Bed Bath & Beyond's decline today was Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE:WSM), a specialty retailer of home products with brands such as Pottery Barn, among many others. While Williams-Sonoma managed to beat bottom-line estimates, it fell short of revenue estimates, and its comparable-store sales disappointed investors. More specifically, its third-quarter comparable-store sales increased 3.1% compared to the 4.6% gain during the second quarter and 3.3% gain during the prior year's third quarter. The slower-than-anticipated growth has investors skittish heading into the holiday shopping season, and shares of Williams-Sonoma plunged 12% Friday. It's also likely that Nordstrom Inc.'s (NYSE:JWN) 13% decline Friday due to weaker-than-expected same-store sales during the third quarter is adding to negative pressure facing retailers.
Despite no negative news directly from or regarding Bed Bath & Beyond, weakness from a home-furnishings retailer in Williams-Sonoma and broader mixed results from retailers in general have investors concerned about sales lagging as we head into the holiday shopping season. Investors also have to remember that Bed Bath & Beyond faced gross margin pressure during the second quarter -- honestly a dreadful quarter in its entirety that sent its shares to an 18-year low -- which caused management to lower its full-year earnings-per-share outlook to $2.00, down from low- to mid-$2.00 range.
Further, during the first half of its fiscal year, Bed Bath & Beyond lost market share, as it grew at a flat pace compared to a 5% market increase, according to Morningstar.com, so it won't take much pessimism in the broader retail environment to cause Bed Bath & Beyond investor concern. For investors, all there is to do is wait until the company reports its third-quarter results on Jan. 9, 2019, and see how it performed during the holiday season.