Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. reported financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 ended February 29, 2020.
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“Our fourth quarter performance was consistent with the market update we provided on February 11, 2020. These results strengthen our resolve to continue to make the necessary, bold and broad-based changes needed to modernize our business, and give us confidence about our ability to improve on this quarterly performance,” stated Mark Tritton, Bed Bath & Beyond’s President and CEO.
Tritton continued, “We are executing a clear plan to manage our business efficiently and effectively through the coronavirus pandemic, prioritizing the health and safety of our customers and teams. Our financial position and contingency plans will allow us to retain the financial flexibility to make targeted investments that will deepen our connection with our customers and rebuild our authority in the Home space. In this time when Home is even more central to our lives and being safe at home with family is essential, Bed Bath & Beyond takes on an even more important role supporting customers and their families by making it easy to feel at home.”
For the fiscal 2019 full year, the company reported a net loss of $4.94 per diluted share $613.8 million, which included several special items such as non-cash impairment charges related to goodwill, tradenames, and certain store level assets, severance costs, shareholder activity costs, an incremental charge for markdowns associated with the company’s inventory reduction initiative, and a loss on a sale-leaseback transaction, compared with a net loss of $1.02 per diluted share $137.2 million for the fiscal 2018 full year, which included several special items such as non-cash goodwill and tradename impairment charges, severance costs, and a gain on the sale of a building.
Excluding these special items from both years, the company reported adjusted net earnings of $0.46 per diluted share $57.3 million for the fiscal 2019 full year, and adjusted net earnings of $1.97 per diluted share $264.8 million for the fiscal 2018 full year. Net sales for the fiscal 2019 full year were $11.2 billion, a decrease of 7.2% compared to the prior year period. Comparable sales for the fiscal 2019 full year declined 6.8% compared to the prior year period.
During the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter, the company did not undertake any open market share repurchase activity.
The company ended fiscal 2019 with approximately $1.4 billion in cash and investments, an increase of approximately 39%, compared with approximately $1.0 billion in cash and investments at the end of fiscal 2018.
Retail inventories of $2.0 billion (at cost) reflected a reduction of approximately 20% or $516 million (at cost), during the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter, compared to the end of the prior year period. Excluding the incremental charge for markdowns associated with the company’s inventory reduction initiative, adjusted retail inventories of $2.1 billion (at cost) reflected a reduction of approximately 16% or over $400 million (at cost), at the end of the fiscal 2019 fourth quarter, compared to the end of the prior year period.
The company’s first quarter and full-year 2020 results will be unfavorably impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The duration and extent of the pandemic is highly uncertain, and Bed Bath & Beyond’s results could be impacted in ways that are difficult to predict today. Due to the level of market uncertainty, the company will not provide further financial guidance for fiscal 2020 at this time.