Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. BBBY, +16.64% shares soared 16.3% in Thursday trading after the home retailer reported earnings that met expectations, but UBS analysts are casting a wary eye on the company’s outlook. Bed Bath & Beyond reported earnings per share of 18 cents, meeting the FactSet guidance. But sales of $3.03 billion was just below the $3.05 billion FactSet consensus, and same-store sales fell 1.8% while the FactSet guidance was for a 0.6% drop. “Now it has reported negative same-store sales in each of the three quarters of 2018 despite these periods of significant consumer strength,” UBS said. Bed Bath & Beyond forecasts fiscal 2019 operating profit and EPS to be similar to 2018. “If achieved, this would be impressive,” analysts said. “But given the absence of any tangible P&L improvement this year, we find it hard to have confidence that such a step function change is possible.” UBS rates Bed Bath & Beyond shares neutral with a $13 price target. Wedbush is more upbeat, but also rates Bed, Bath & Beyond shares neutral. “Despite recent sales volatility and margin pressure, we continue to admire Bed Bath & Beyond’s longstanding decentralized merchandising acumen that keeps customers coming back for core home goods and impulse buys,” analysts said. Wedbush has a $14 price target on Bed Bath & Beyond shares. Bed Bath & Beyond stock has lost 33% in the last 12 months while the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.45% is down 5.5% for the period.
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