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Thursday April 17, 2014



Bed Bath & Beyond Reports Fiscal 2012 Results

Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. (BBBY) reported its fourth quarter and fiscal year results this past week.

For the year, the company reported net sales of $10.9 billion, a 14.9% increase over last year's net sales of $9.5 billion. On a net earnings basis, the company reported net earnings of $1.04 billion, an increase over last year's net earnings of $989.54 million.

For the fourth quarter, net sales increased to $3.4 billion, up nearly 24.5% from the same period last year. Bed Bath & Beyond reported net earnings of $373.9 million for the quarter. This represents an increase of 14% from the same period last year when net earnings were $351 million.

Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. operates retail stores under its brand name and subsidiaries operating under the names of Christmas Tree Shops, Harmon, Harmon Face Values and buy-buy BABY. Bed Bath & Beyond is also a partner in a joint venture that operates retail stores in Mexico under the name "Home & More."

Bed Bath & Beyond, Inc. (BBBY) closed the week trading at $66.76 per share.

Ruby Tuesday Reports Quarterly Earnings

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (RT), a casual dining restaurant chain, reported its quarterly earnings on April 10.

Ruby Tuesday reported net income from continuing operations of $4.7 million. This represents a decrease from last year's net income from continuing operations of $6.9 million.

Ruby Tuesday's diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.08 for the quarter, which represented a decrease from last year's diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.11.

J.J. Buettgen, President and CEO, commented on the results: "I am pleased with the progress we have made in evolving the Ruby Tuesday brand over the past quarter. We believe the initiatives we are working on will shift consumers' perceptions of the brand toward a more mainstream, lively, and approachable position. We have already introduced a handful of new menu items, and our current advertising and merchandising materials portray a more fun, casual, and affordable personality for the brand. As we broaden the brand's appeal and make it relevant for more everyday occasions, we will be able to more effectively compete in the marketplace."

Ruby Tuesday was founded in 1920 in Maryville, Tennessee. The company owns and operates 714 Ruby Tuesday restaurants and has over 16,000 employees.

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (RT) shares ended the week at $9.09.

Pier 1 Imports Reports Fiscal 2013 Earnings

Home décor and furniture retailer Pier 1 Imports (PIR) reported its fourth-quarter 2013 and year-end results on April 11.

Total sales for fiscal 2013 increased 11.2% from $1.534 billion to $1.705 billion. Total sales for the fourth quarter were $551.6 million, a 15.7% increase over last year's fourth quarter sales of $476.8 million.

For fiscal 2013, Pier 1 Imports' net income was $129.4 million, a decrease from last year's net income of $168.9 million. Net income for the fourth quarter decreased from $115.2 million to $61.7 million.

"Fiscal 2013 was another outstanding year for Pier 1 Imports," said Alex W. Smith, President and CEO. "We delivered our 14th consecutive quarter of significant sales and profit growth, re-introduced our dividend and repurchased $100 million of Pier 1 Imports stock, returning substantial value to our shareholders. At the same time, we launched our e-Commerce enabled website, established a platform to support our multi-channel strategy and commenced a pilot of our new POS system."

Pier 1 Imports manufactures, markets and distributes home furnishing accessories. The Texas-based company operates over 1,000 stores in North America and imports from over 50 countries.

Pier 1 Imports (PIR) shares ended the week at $23.20.

The Dow started the week at 14,565 and closed at 14,865. The S&P 500 started the week at 1,553 and ended at 1,589. The NASDAQ started the week at 3,204 and finished at 3,295.

Treasuries Gain Following News of Weak Consumer Sentiment

Treasuries rose and yields dropped Friday on news that consumer sentiment fell to a nine month low. The disappointing consumer sentiment news added to continuing uncertainty in Cyprus following reports that the nation's finance ministry was seeking a bigger bailout from the European Union.

The benchmark 10-year note yields fell the most in a week early Friday morning, falling 6 basis points to 1.73%. The fall in yields caused Treasuries to gain as investors once again flew to the security of Treasuries over equities. The flight to Treasuries has been significant recently following a disappointing jobs report last week and news of weak retail sales this week.

The University of Michigan-Thompson Reuters preliminary consumer-sentiment index for April showed consumer sentiment falling from 78.6 in March to 72.3 in April. The drop was in stark contrast to expectations that the index would be closer to 79. The index reflects the strength of U.S. retail sales.

"Those are pretty ugly numbers," said Ira Jersey, an interest-rate strategist in New York at Credit Suisse Group AG. "In an environment where you have very slow jobs growth and poor sales, the two of those things don't bode well for the economy. An early reduction in quantitative easing is further off the table because of these numbers."

Treasuries were already gaining Friday even before the release of the weak consumer sentiment news. Reports showed that Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades plans to ask the European Union for further financial aid in line with his country's needs, indicating the country's banking system needs a larger bailout than originally believed.

With all of the negative economic news on Friday, yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note were not alone in their fall. Yields on the 30-year bond fell nearly 6 basis points to 2.94% and yields on the 5-year note fell almost 3 basis points to 0.7%. The yields on Treasury notes move inversely to prices.

The 10-year Treasury note yield finished the week at 1.75% while the 30-year Treasury note yield finished the week at 2.92%.

Mortgage Rates Decline for Second Week

Freddie Mac released the results of its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) on April 11. The results showed mortgage rates dropping again this week following the release of a disappointing jobs report the previous week.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.43% this week. This represents a slight decrease from last week when it averaged 3.54%. One year ago at this time the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.88%.

This week, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 2.65%. This is a decrease from last week when it averaged 2.74%. Last year at this time, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.11%.

Frank Nothaft, Vice President and Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, said, "Mortgage rates fell further this week following a lackluster employment report for March. The economy added just 88,000 net new jobs last month, about one-third as many as February and the fewest since June 2012. In addition, approximately 496,000 people left the workforce causing the unemployment rate to fall to 7.6%. Further, average hourly earnings were unchanged in March, indicating income growth remains tepid."

The money market fund finished this week at 0.5%. The 1-year CD finished at 0.5%.

Published April 12, 2013

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