At Bed Bath & Beyond, a strong Q3

Union, N.J.-based Bed Bath & Beyond posted third-quarter earnings of $188.6 million, up 24.6% from $151.3 million in the same quarter last year.

Sales in the three months ended Nov. 27 increased 11.1% to $2.19 billion, up from $1.98 billion last year. Comparable-store sales for the quarter increased by 7.0%.

The results exceeded the company's internal planning assumptions, according to CEO Steven Temares. "While it appears that the economic environment has stabilized and is perhaps improving, persistent high unemployment and uncertainty in the economy could continue to pressure consumers and affect their spending. However … we remain cautiously optimistic about the remainder of the year."

As of Nov. 27, the company had a total of 1,127 stores, including 976 Bed Bath & Beyond stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, 66 Christmas Tree Shops stores, 40 buybuy BABY stores and 45 stores under the names of Harmon or Harmon Face Values.

During the third quarter, the company opened five Bed Bath & Beyond stores, five Christmas Tree Shops stores, and seven buybuy BABY stores. Consolidated store space as of Nov. 27 was approximately 34.7 million sq. ft.

The company also announced that its board authorized a new $2 billion share repurchase program.

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