Bed Bath & Beyond Inc BBBY-Q on Thursday said it was exploring options including a bankruptcy filing to address the U.S. home goods retailer’s plunging sales, dwindling cash and debt load, sending its shares tumbling.
The retailer in a regulatory filing said there was substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern, adding that it was exploring strategic alternatives including restructuring or refinancing debt or seeking bankruptcy protection.
Bed Bath & Beyond said it expects to report a third-quarter loss of US$385.5-million after sales plunged 33 per cent. The company’s shares plummeted 23 per cent to US$1.84 in early trading on Thursday after the news. The stock was one of the most active on the Nasdaq, with nearly 9.4 million shares traded as of 09:37 ET.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s fortunes dwindled and its stock collapsed in value after it pursued a strategy focused on its own private-label goods. The retailer’s management has since reversed course and has aimed to bring in national brands.
“The turnaround plan put in place last year is not working. … Put bluntly the business is moving at rapid speed in the wrong direction with bankruptcy the most likely destination,” GlobalData analyst Neil Saunders said.
The company became a meme stock last year when its shares soared more than 400 per cent. Activist investor Ryan Cohen, the chairman of GameStop Corp, took a stake in Bed Bath & Beyond, which he later sold, sending shares crashing.
“Our financial performance was negatively impacted by inventory constraints as we partnered with our suppliers to navigate both micro– and macroeconomic challenges,” chief executive officer Sue Gove said.
The company will report results for the third quarter ending Nov. 26 on Tuesday.
Bed Bath & Beyond in its prior financial update in the fall said it had liquidity of US$850-million but had burned through US$325-million in the second quarter.
Analysts have estimated that it will go through US$1.5-billion in cash over the next two years.
The company had also been asking bondholders to swap out their holdings for new debt to give it more breathing room to turn around its business but cancelled the deal on Thursday after not getting much interest from investors, according to filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bed Bath & Beyond had earlier considered selling its valuable buybuy Baby stores that sell goods for infants and toddlers but held off in the hopes it could later fetch a higher price, Reuters reported.
The value of the chain helped the retailer ink a US$375-million loan, the maximum amount it could borrow.