Topline

Shares of brick-and-mortar retailer Bed Bath & Beyond plummeted Wednesday after the firm reported an unexpected loss and acknowledged more vulnerabilities in its business than it had previously accounted for—extending a week-long decline spurred by waning investor sentiment and pessimism over the firm’s ability to turn around its ailing business.

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Down an eighth-straight day, Bed Bath & Beyond stock plummeted as much as 12% Wednesday morning after the company reported a loss of $159 million in the fourth quarter, or 92 cents per share, compared to expected earnings of 13 cents per share; sales of about $2.1 billion, down 22% year over year, also fell short of analyst expectations.

In a statement, CEO Mark Tritton blamed the disappointing results on macroeconomic factors including global supply chain disruptions, the omicron variant of Covid-19 and the “geopolitical turbulence weighing on consumer confidence,” which altogether “uncovered more vulnerabilities than we could have foreseen. “

Though the firm expects sales will improve in the second half of the year, it didn’t provide specific sales guidance for the period.

“Bed Bath & Beyond’s [earnings]
disaster represents the latest question mark around the consumer,” analyst Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge Media wrote in a Wednesday email, pointing out the results follow a similarly disappointing report from Carmax, which blamed the same macroeconomic factors for its worse-than-expected earnings on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Bank of America analyst Jason Haas warned “reality is about to hit hard for starry-eyed Bed Bath & Beyond shareholders,” giving the stock an underperform rating and issuing a price target of $9.50, representing more than 50% downside.

The company’s turnaround strategy, which included store closures and launching new private-label brands, “has not worked,” Haas said, saying management “moved too quickly” and drove away consumers—forcing the chain to double down on sharp promotions to recuperate sales , including 20% ​​off entire orders, free same-day shipping and $10 gift cards for $50 spent.