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Higher expenses eat into Bed Bath & Beyond profit

UNION, N.J. (AP) -- Higher costs dragged Bed Bath & Beyond's net income down 2 percent in its fiscal first quarter.

Profit in the three months through June 1 came to $202.5 million, or 93 cents per share, a cent shy of analysts' consensus prediction.

Sales at the furniture and home decor store chain rose 18 percent to $2.61 billion, as revenue in stores open at least a year, a key retail measure that tracks trends at established stores, rose 3.4 percent. The company also got a boost from the acquisitions of home decor chain Cost Plus and distributor Linen Holdings in June 2012.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected revenue of $2.6 billion.

Sales at established stores rose about 3.4 percent from a year ago. Comparable-store sales are an important measure of retail performance because they exclude stores that recently opened or closed.

Selling, general and administrative expenses shot up 24 percent, to $709.9 million, and the company's taxes also rose.

For the current quarter, which runs through August, Bed Bath & Beyond expects earnings of $1.11 to $1.16 per share. Analysts estimate $1.14 per share.

For the fiscal year the company expects profit of $4.84 to $5.01 per share, slightly below Wall Street's average estimate of $5.02 per share.

Bed Bath & Beyond, based in Union, N.J., runs nearly 1,500 stores, including its namesake chain, World Market and Cost Plus World Market.

Shares fell 25 cents to $69.75 in after-hours trading. The stock has gained 25 percent in 2013.