September 27, 2020

Price Cuts Drag Down Best Buy’s Earnings

Its adjusted earnings missed analysts’ expectations, and its shares tumbled.

Best Buy’s results highlight the challenges the electronics retailer is facing as it seeks to increase traffic during the crucial November and December holiday season. The company, which is competing with discounters and online retailers, increased markdowns and spent more on advertising.

Its chief executive, Brian Dunn, said customers were firmly focused on value this holiday season, so Best Buy had to cut its prices to attract them.

“We took decisive actions to drive our business,” he said. “These actions, while negatively impacting gross margin, significantly resonated with customers and resulted in improved traffic.”

Net income for the three months ended Nov. 26 fell to $154 million, or 42 cents a share. That compares with $217 million, or 54 cents a share, last year.

Excluding one-time items, Best Buy’s adjusted earnings totaled 47 cents a share. Analysts expected 52 cents a share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 2 percent, to $12.1 billion, from $11.9 billion a year ago. Analysts expected $12.13 billion. Revenue in American stores open at least one year, an important gauge of a retailer’s financial health, rose 1 percent with help from a 20 percent increase in online revenue.

Strong sellers during the quarter included mobile computing, appliances, e-readers, mobile phones and movies. The company said tablets and e-book readers had triple-digit growth. TV sales also improved from the second quarter.

Digital imaging and gaming were weaker sellers.

Best Buy reaffirmed its full-year guidance of adjusted net income of $3.35 to $3.65 a share. Analysts expect $3.44 a share.

It expects revenue of $51 billion to $52.5 billion. Analysts estimate revenue of $51.83 billion for the year.

Shares fell $4.34, or 15 percent, to $23.73.

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