Home-goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is closing more stores, planning more layoffs and reportedly preparing for a bankruptcy filing. But the stock, ever the darling of meme traders and whoever else, had its biggest percentage gain on record on Wednesday. Shares of the company rocketed 68.6% higher to $3.49 during regular trading hours on Wednesday. That’s the largest percentage jump on record, based on data going back to June 5, 1992.
That jump would follow other big gains earlier this week for the stock, which is still down 73% over the past 12 months. On Monday, shares bounded 24% higher. On Tuesday, they ran up another 28%. Those advances also followed several days of terrible news for the chain. Bed Bath & Beyond
on Tuesday reported a steeper quarterly loss and falling sales, and said it was planning an extra $80 million to $100 million in cost cuts across its corporate segment, including cuts to staff. Management also plans to shutter more stores. Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Bed Bath & Beyond was planning to file for bankruptcy protection in a matter of weeks. Earlier that day, the company warned that doing so was a possibility, following “lower customer traffic and reduced levels of inventory” for its third quarter, which encompassed part of the holiday shopping season. Sue Gove, Bed Bath & Beyond’s chief executive, said during the company’s earnings call on Tuesday that the retailer was restocking its shelves with more popular national brands. And she said it was shrinking its own branded-merchandise offerings — which executives once hoped would drive a rebound — after some of them didn’t catch on with shoppers. Morningstar analyst Jaime Katz last year told MarketWatch that the company’s turnaround efforts lacked “newness,” and that those national brands aren’t enough to draw demand and, in turn, pricing that’s more favorable to the chain. More recently, Wedbush analysts on Tuesday noted “dire business trends” for Bed Bath & Beyond, and said they expected the company to run out of liquidity this year. Wells Fargo analyst Zachary Fadem, in a note Tuesday, said Bed Bath & Beyond’s quarterly results reflected “a company on the brink.” But he said the company’s …