Best Buy Q4 strong, closely monitoring coronavirus impact

Best Buy's strategy to offer integrated digital and physical consumer experiences seems to be working well.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Best Buy reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings as its omnichannel experience, deals and inventory management paid off, but the consumer electronics retailer said it is closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The company reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings of $2.84 a share on revenue of $15.2 billion. Non-GAAP earnings were $2.90 a share. Wall Street was looking for non-GAAP earnings of $2.75 a share.

US same store sales for Best Buy grew 3.4% and online sales were up 19%. Most categories for Best Buy showed strong growth including headphones, computers, mobile phones and tablets.

In a statement, Best Buy said the coronavirus impact on its business is fluid, but the company said that the outbreak is "a short-term disruption" that will hit the first quarter. Best Buy CFO Matt Bilunas said the coronavirus outbreak is "a very fluid situation, which makes it difficult to determine exact financial impacts from disruptions in supply chain." Multiple companies such as Microsoft, Jabil, Apple and others have cut their outlooks due to the coronavirus. 

As for that outlook, Best Buy projected fiscal first quarter revenue between $9.1 billion to $9.2 billion with same store sales flat to up 1%. Non-GAAP earnings in the first quarter will be $1 to $1.05 a share, which was in line with expectations.

For fiscal 2021, Best Buy projected revenue between $43.3 billion and $44.3 billion with same store sales flat to up 2%. Non-GAAP earnings will be between $6.10 and $6.30. In fiscal 2020, Best Buy reported revenue of $43.64 billion with earnings of $5.75 a share ($6.07 a share non-GAAP). 

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