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Best Buy Q3 solid, but later iPhone X launch dinged revenue upside

The November launch of Apple's iPhone X combined with hurricanes and natural disasters put the kibosh on stronger revenue gains, but Best Buy's omnichannel moves pay off.
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Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Best Buy's fiscal third quarter results were largely in line with expectations, but the timing of Apple's iPhone X launch provided a headwind to revenue.

The retailer, which has shifted to an omnichannel model well as the industry has struggled, reported fiscal third quarter earnings of 78 cents a share on revenue of $9.32 billion, up from $8.94 billion a year ago. Same store sales were up 4.4 percent in the third quarter.

Best Buy's earnings were in line with Wall Street estimates, but sales fell short of the $9.36 billion expected. The company said that revenue in the mobile phone category was down by more than $100 million because "a major phone launch did not happen until November." We know unnamed phone is iPhone X.

iPhone X cheat sheets

Another wrinkle for Best Buy was that hurricanes and natural disasters shaved 3 cents a share from earnings.

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Nevertheless, Best Buy's quarter was solid. Online sales were up 22.3 percent to $1.1 billion.

As for the outlook, Best Buy said it expects fiscal 2018 revenue growth of 4 percent to 4.8 percent with non-GAAP operating income growth of 7 percent to 9.5 percent. That guidance is stronger than what Best Buy previously projected.

For the fourth quarter, Best Buy projected revenue of $14.2 billion to $14.5 billion with non-GAAP earnings of $1.89 a share to $1.99 a share. For fiscal 2018, Best Buy sees revenue of $41 billion to $41.3 billion.

CEO Hubert Joly said the company was "excited about our plans for holiday, including a curated assortment of great new technology products, free shipping with no minimums, and a range of new capabilities such as our new In-Home Advisor program, an updated gift center, and same-day delivery in 40 cities."

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