FINANCE

Bed Bath & Beyond Q3 profit beats, sales disappoint

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Union, N.J. — Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. reported Wednesday that profit for the quarter ended Nov. 24 rose almost 2% to $232.8 million, from $228.5 million last year, edging Wall Street expectations.

Revenue increased 15% to $2.7 billion, just missing analysts’ forecasted $2.73 billion in revenue. Same-store sales rose 1.7%.

The retailer said it estimates Hurricane Sandy lowered comps by about 0.9% during the period.

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OPERATIONS

Poll: 132 million have yet to finish holiday shopping

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Yonkers, N.Y. — Poll results released Thursday by Consumer Reports found that, with only five shopping days left until Christmas, 68% of shoppers – or about 132 million Americans – have yet to finish their gift shopping.

Seventeen million are estimated to hit stores on Christmas Eve.

When asked which gift they were most likely to grab at the last-minute, 62% of shoppers said they would go with a gift card or gift certificate, 27% would opt for cash, while 15% would select liquor. Lottery tickets and candy would be a last-minute choice for 12% respectively, while 4% would issue an IOU or gift-to-be-determined.

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FINANCE

Most Americans optimistic about finances in 2013

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Whiting, Ind. — More than half of U.S. adults are feeling positive about what 2013 may hold for them financially, according to survey results released Thursday by CouponCabin.com and conducted by Harris Interactive.

The survey found that 52% of U.S. adults are optimistic that 2013 will be a better year for them financially than years past, up from 48% last year.

On the flip side, 37% said they do not think 2013 will be better financially, while 11% said they weren’t sure. Nearly four-in-10 (39%) said they plan to overhaul their finances in 2013.

When it comes to how U.S. adults will do the overhauling, topping the list was the 43% who will focus on tackling debts for their credit cards, car and mortgage.

"Regardless of their financial situation, many people see the start of a new year as a chance to refocus and retool their finances," said Jackie Warrick , president and chief savings officer at CouponCabin.com. "Our survey reveals more people are optimistic about what the coming year holds than they were last year, but it’s not always an easy road. Tough financial challenges still exist for many Americans and will continue as the economy stabilizes."

Thirty-nine percent of those polled said they feel less financially secure than they did at the beginning of 2012, while 40% said they are neither more or less financially secure. More than one-in-five (22%) said that when they look back at the start of 2012, they feel more financially secure now than they did at the beginning of the year.

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