NEW YORK (AP) -- A Jeffries analyst lowered his rating and price target for Bed Bath & Beyond on Monday, saying an anticipated modest rise in sales will likely not be enough for substantial earnings increases in the intermediate term.
Analyst John Marrin cut Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. to "Hold" from "Buy" and reduced the chain's price target to $71 from $76. The analyst said that while he believes sales will rise, he views the increases coming from lower-margin online sales — which could mean that earnings will not be as high as he once anticipated.
Marrin lowered his 2014 earnings estimate to $4.90 from $4.95 and trimmed his 2015 forecast to $5.25 from $5.50.
The analyst said that he still thinks the Union, N.J., company has the potential to be a leader in the home furnishings sector in several years, but that shareholders may "be in for a pretty bumpy ride" until that time.
Aside from its namesake stores, Bed Bath & Beyond runs buybuy Baby, Christmas Tree Shops, Harmon and Cost Plus World Market.
A representative for the company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Its shares finished at $69.11 on Friday. They have traded in a 52-week range of $54.33 to $75.84.