Retail

Best Buy tops estimates on strong online sales, but shares fall on lack of holiday forecast


Best Buy‘s third-quarter earnings on Tuesday soared past Wall Street’s expectations, as the company continued to see strong demand for technology during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of the company were down nearly 3% in premarket trading early Tuesday.

Despite its strong third quarter, the retailer declined to provide an outlook for the fourth quarter — a significant period for electronics and tech purchases during the holidays — due to the uncertainty created by the pandemic.

Here’s what the company did in the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 31:

  • Earnings per share: $2.06, adjusted, vs. $1.70 expected by Refinitiv’s consensus estimates
  • Revenue: $11.85 billion vs. $11.00 billion expected by Refinitiv estimates
  • Same-store sales growth: 23% vs. 13.6% expected by StreetAccount estimates

Best Buy reported third-quarter net income of $391 million, or $1.48 per share, from $293 million, or $1.10 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned $2.06 per share, higher than the $1.70 per share expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Revenue rose to $11.85 billion billion, from $9.76 billion a year earlier, which beat Wall Street’s expectations of $11 billion.

The company’s same-store sales grew by 23% overall. In the U.S., same-store sales were up 22.6%. They grew by 27.3% internationally.

Online revenue in the U.S. was $3.82 billion in the third quarter — jumping by 174% year over year and making up more than a third of the company’s total U.S. revenue. It was the company’s second-best quarter for U.S. online revenue ever, even besting the company’s e-commerce sales during last holiday season.

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During the coronavirus pandemic, Best Buy’s sales have gotten a boost from stay-at-home trends as more consumers need technology to set up their home office or to help their children go to school remotely. The company decided to shut its stores and switch to curbside pickup only in the early months of the global health crisis — despite being deemed an essential retailer.

In the third quarter, CEO Corie Barry said customers have continued to turn to the big-box retailer to get everything from kitchen appliances and laptops for school to home theater equipment.

“The current environment has underscored our purpose to enrich lives through technology, and the capabilities we are flexing and strengthening now will benefit us going forward as we execute our strategy,” she said in a press release.

As of Monday’s market close, Best Buy’s shares were up 39% this year, giving the company a market cap of $31.6 billion.

Read the full earnings press release from Best Buy here.



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