Best Buy Beats Earnings Estimates and Raises Its Outlook

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Best BuyBest Buy (BBY), the largest electronics retailer in the U.S., reported fiscal second-quarter earnings grew 61% despite a decline in consumer traffic. However, those who came spent more per purchase and bought cell phones, appliances and laptops. The results took many by surprise, especially with the company also boosting guidance, sending shares up 8% in premarket trading.

The retailer reported net earnings of $254 million, or 60 cents per share, for its 2011 fiscal second quarter ended Aug. 28, 2010, compared with $158 million, or 37 cents per share, for the prior-year period. Results handily beat analysts expectations of 46 cents per share.

"We're still in the early stages of our Connected World strategy, but this quarter's results give me continued confidence that we're making progress in driving value through growth in connections for our customers, vendors and shareholders," said CEO Brian Dunn. But Dunn added the quarter was indeed marked "with constrained consumer spending."

A Revenue Forecast of $52 Billion

Best Buy's revenue increased 3% to $11.3 billion, compared with revenue of $11 billion for the second fiscal quarter of 2010. The increase reflected the impact of net new stores in the past 12 months and a 0.1% decline in comparable-store sales.

Not only did results beat estimates, but the retailer also increased its full year EPS guidance by 10 cents to a range of $3.55 to $3.70 to reflect impact of share repurchases completed in the first fiscal half. Analysts expect $3.43 per share. Best Buy also expects revenue of approximately $52 billion, a year-over-year increase of 5%, and full year same-store sale increase of 1% to 2%.

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In the U.S., revenue totaled $8.4 billion, an increase of 2% versus the prior-year period, driven by the addition of net new stores, partially offset by a comparable-store sales decline of 1%. The comparable-store sales results were driven primarily by a decline in customer traffic, partially offset by an increase in average ticket. Americans bought more mobile phones, appliances and mobile computers, including tablet computers such as Apple's (AAPL) iPad. But they bought less TVs and entertainment hardware and software.

Internationally, revenue totaled $2.9 billion, an increase of 6% versus the prior-year period, driven primarily by a 4% increase in comparable-store sales and the impact of net new stores.
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