Bed Bath & Beyond considering bankruptcy, shares sink

STORY: Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond dropped more than 20% in early Thursday trading, after the U.S. home goods retailer said it was considering filing for bankruptcy.

That was disclosed in a regulatory filing, in which Bed Bath & Beyond said it was exploring several options, including restructuring or refinancing debt or selling assets.

The retailer, citing plummeting sales, said it was running out of cash to cover expenses, adding that there was substantial doubt about its ability to continue.

Bed Bath & Beyond said it expects to report a third-quarter loss of more than $385 million after sales plunged 33%.

The retailer had pursued a strategy focused on its own private-label goods, but management has since reversed course and has sought to bring in national brands.

One analyst told Reuters: "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."

The company became a meme stock last year when its shares soared more than 400%.

Activist investor Ryan Cohen, the chairman of GameStop, took a stake in Bed Bath & Beyond, which he later sold, sending shares crashing.

According to filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the retailer had been asking bondholders to swap out their holdings for new debt to give it more breathing room to turn around the business but canceled the deal on Thursday after failing to garner serious interest from investors.