Best Buy's sales dropped, but profits rose during holidays

Posted March 01, 2017

Best Buy Co. posted a surprise decline in revenue in the final quarter of the year as it struggled to make certain products available to customers.

The company's sales at stores open for more than a year fell 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, widely missing analysts' average estimate of an increase of 0.5 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix. Earnings of $1.95 a share did come in much higher higher than analysts' estimations for $1.67.

The company's shares fell more than 9 percent in premarket trading.

For the first quarter, the company expects adjusted earnings per share between $0.35 and $0.40. Furthermore, terming fiscal 2018 ( the 53-week year) as the first step in building the new blue, the company is expecting enterprise revenue growth of approximately 1.5% and an operating income growth rate in the low single digits. Revenue was reported as $39.4 billion.

Same-store sales of mobile devices fell 4.4%.

"Our strong bottom-line performance in the fourth quarter was driven by a disciplined promotional strategy, continued optimization of merchandise margins and strong expense management", CEO Hubert Joly said in a statement.

Online sales rose 17.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

Best Buy also said in November that it expected a $200 million hit to sales in the quarter stemming from the recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Operating income rate of BBY improved by 80 basis points. Q1 revenues are seen between $8.2 and $8.3 billion, also below the consensus $8.47 billion estimate. Best Buy Full Year GAAP and Non-GAAP diluted EPS increased 63% and 28% respectively.

The company also raised its quarterly dividend 21% to 34 cents a share and announced a share repurchase plan that accelerates from $1 billion over two years to $3 billion over two years.

Our annual outlook is influenced by a number of factors, including expected share gains and the positive impact from our new initiatives, offset by our assumption that the industry growth will remain negative, similar to the last two years, and product availability issues will continue, particularly in the first half of the year. The stock has risen 36 percent in the last 12 months.