Best Buy Earnings Disappoint Ahead of Holiday Season, Lowers Guidance


Electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY) reported disappointing earnings for its fiscal third quarter 2011, with sales falling 1.1% and comparable store sales declining 3.3% due to lower demand in key categories and smaller market share, the company said. Best Buy also lowered its guidance for the full year.

The giant retailer announced earnings of $217 million, or 54 cents per share, compared to $227 million, or 53 cents per share in the same quarter last year. Analysts had expected earnings of 61 cents per share.

Best Buy's revenue for the quarter came in at $11.89 billion, lower than last year's third quarter revenue of $12.02 billion, and below the consensus estimate of $12.47 billion.

"I am grateful for the hard work and dedication of our employees in the start of the holiday shopping season," said CEO Brian Dunn. "While sales were lower than we expected during the quarter, I'm pleased with our strong store execution, solid gross margin expansion and efforts to control costs."

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The company noted that the domestic segment's revenue fell more than expected, with same-store sales declining 5% in the U.S., primarily driven by lower than expected demand in key U.S. consumer electronics categories, as well as a drop in the company's estimated domestic market share for the period. Weak demand for TVs and entertainment hardware and software led to comparable-store sales declines in the low double-digits for these products. This was partially offset, however, by a low double-digit comparable-store sales increase in mobile phones, led by smartphones.

The retailer also lost some market share driven primarily by declines in TVs, mobile computing and gaming software. It estimates that its domestic market share declined 110 basis points compared to the comparable period last year. The company now estimates that its domestic market share will decline for the full fiscal year as compared to the prior fiscal year.

With soft demand and lower market share, Best Buy lowered its fiscal year earnings guidance from $3.55 to $3.70 per share to $3.20 to $3.40 per share. Analysts had estimated $3.59 per share.

Best Buy shares fell over 12% in pre-market trading.