Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript
Apr 11, 2018 • 05:00 pm ET
Welcome to the Bed Bath & Beyond fourth quarter fiscal 2017 earnings call. All participants will be in a listen-only mode until the Q&A portion of the call. Today's conference call is being recorded. A rebroadcast of the conference call will be available beginning on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at 8'o Clock PM. Eastern time through 8'o Clock PM. Eastern time on Friday, April 13, 2018. To access the rebroadcast, you may dial 888-843-7419 with the passcode ID of 46495820.
At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Janet Barth, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.
Thank you and good afternoon, everyone. Joining me on our call today are Steven Temares, Bed Bath & Beyond's Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors; Gene Castagna, Chief Operating Officer; and Sue Lattmann, our Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.
Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that this conference call may contain forward-looking statements, including statements about or references to our internal models and our long-term objectives. All such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from what we say during the call today.
Please refer to our most recent periodic SEC filings for more detail on these risks and uncertainties. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Our earnings press release dated April 11, 2018, can be found in the Investor Relations section of our website at www.bedbathandbeyond.com.
Here are some highlights. Fiscal 2017 net earnings per diluted share were $3.04. Excluding the net unfavorable impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, or the Tax Act, we would have earned $3.12. Our fourth quarter net earnings per diluted share were $1.41. Excluding the net unfavorable impact of the Tax Act, we would have earned $1.48. Net sales increased approximately 5.2% in the fourth quarter and comparable sales declined approximately 0.6%, including strong sales growth from our customer-facing digital channels and a mid-single-digit percentage decline in sales from our stores.
Our Board of Directors today declared an increase in the quarterly dividend from $0.15 to $0.16 per share, payable on July 17, 2018, to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 15, 2018.
I will now turn the call over to Steven, who will talk about the company's ongoing transformation, and then Sue will discuss our financial results in more detail, as well as provide some of our planning assumptions for Fiscal 2018.
Thank you, Janet. As we have discussed in prior calls, we have been strategically focused on reinforcing our position in the marketplace as the expert for the home and heartfelt life events. We have made and continued to make significant investments in support of this mission. While these investments have weighed heavily on our expense structure and profitability during this time, we are excited by our progress and we are focused on creating the foundation necessary to grow our leadership position in retail