Bed Bath & Beyond’s biggest problem going forward

Bed Bath & Beyond is a smoldering pile of garbage, experts say, and the struggling retailer’s existential future hangs in the balance.

The big question has become: Will Bed Bath & Beyond run out of money?

While the company revealed drastic steps on Wednesday to raise cash ($500 million in debt + a potential 12 million share sale), cut expenses (close 150 stores/can 20% of the workforce), and alter the sales trajectory (promoted new leaders to Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY banners), Wall Street thinks the retailer’s outlook remains highly uncertain.

The main concern is that Bed Bath & Beyond is performing so poorly — same-store sales fell 26% in the most recent quarter — and the balance sheet is in such sorry shape that the company will be forced to raise even more cash in 2023. Where and when (and at what cost) that cash comes from is a great unknown.

A man reads a pamphlet about cookware while shopping inside of a Bed Bath & Beyond store in New York April 13, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES)

Here’s the vibe among the analysts (via fresh client notes) that still provide coverage on the lightning rod retailer with a now mere $715 million market cap.

Guggenheim

  • Analyst: Steven Forbes

  • Rating: neutral

  • Price Target: None

Key Comment: “Liquidity Infusion Needed—and a Positive—But at What Cost? Given our belief that Bed Bath & Beyond will remain in a free cash flow negative state as management repositions the business, the announced liquidity infusion—($375 million FILO facility, ~$125 million of incremental asset-backed loan capacity, and the issuance of up to 12 million shares)—is a clear positive. That said, we would expect the interest expense burden to be elevated (note, this commitment is still subject to customary closing conditions ) and the company has a large debt maturity coming due in August 2024 ($289 million).Bottom line, we believe we remain in the early phases of Bed Bath & Beyond’s turnaround efforts with significant execution risk, especially given the unpredictable nature of the current macro.”

Jefferies

Key Comment: “The company has historically not benefited from strong US consumer, as seen in multi-year comp/EBIT% deterioration. Mass competitors and emerging digitally-native players becoming a greater headwind. Leadership change has potential to be a longer-term catalyst, though near-term instability likely. Remain on the sidelines until initiatives have a more meaningful impact on the P&L.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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