Bed Bath & Beyond Earnings Rise to 79 Cents a Share on Higher Sales

Home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond said Wednesday its quarterly profit rose 4% on higher sales at established stores.

Fourth-quarter net income totaled $205.8 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with $197.9 million, or 67 cents a share a year earlier.

Quarterly sales increased to about $1.9 billion from $1.69 billion a year ago.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key retail measure known as same-store sales, were up 5.2% during the quarter, versus a 6.3% gain a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, expected the Union, New Jersey-based retailer to earn 78 cents a share for the quarter, according to Reuters Estimates.

Excluding special items, it said it earned 79 cents a share for the quarter.

Bed Bath & Beyond has been a lone bright spot in a bleak home furnishings sector that has stumbled in the wake of a cool U.S. housing market and intense competition from discounters
like Target and Wal-Mart Stores .

Rival Pier 1 Imports has endured more than a year of declining same-store sales and has posted seven consecutive quarterly losses.

Last month, Williams-Sonoma posted a higher profit due to cost-cutting measures and increased promotional activity, but issued a disappointing first-quarter earnings forecast, citing sectorwide pressures.