Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Jan 09, 2019 • 05:00 pm ET
Welcome to the Bed Bath & Beyond's Fiscal 2018 Third Quarter 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, January 9, 2019 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time through 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, January 11, 2019. To access the rebroadcast, you may dial 888-843-7419 with a passcode ID of 47947100.
At this time, I would like to turn the conference call over to Janet Barth, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.
Thank you, Adrian, and good afternoon everyone.
Before we begin, I want to remind you that our fiscal 2018 third quarter earnings release and slide presentation can be found in the Investor Relations section of our website at www.bedbathandbeyond.com and as exhibits to a Form 8-K we filed just ahead of this call. Feel free to access these materials now while I continue with our introduction.
Joining me on our call today are Steven Temares, Bed Bath & Beyond's Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors; Robyn D'Elia, our Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer; Gene Castagna, President and Chief Operating Officer and Sue Lattmann, our Chief Administrative Officer.
Let me remind you that this conference call and the slides we refer to 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.
Here are some financial highlights. Our net sales increased approximately 2.6% for the quarter and comparable sales declined approximately 1.8%, with strong sales growth in our customer-facing digital channels, and a mid-single-digit percentage decline in sales from our stores.
Our net earnings per diluted share in the third quarter were $0.18, in line with our model. Our retail inventories ended at about $2.9 billion at the end of the third quarter, down about 6% from the end of the prior year period and has contributed to our strong cash and investments balance of approximately $1 billion, which is nearly double the amount of cash and investments we had at the end of our fiscal 2017 third quarter.
We have updated our fiscal 2018 modeling assumptions, and currently estimate comparable sales for the year to decrease about 1%. And continue to model net earnings per diluted share for fiscal 2018 to be about $2. We are ahead of plan with respect to our long-term financial goals to moderate the declines in our operating profit and net earnings per diluted share this year and next, and grow net earnings per diluted share by 2020.
And based upon our preliminary assumptions, we now believe that our fiscal 2019