Best Buy’s Q3 Profits Soar 55%

Will take a $200M Q4 hit from Samsung’s recalls
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Best Buy delivered an early Christmas present to shareholders this morning.

Best Buy delivered an early Christmas present to shareholders this morning.

The No. 1 CE chain reported a 55.2 percent increase in net earnings, to $194 million, for the third fiscal quarter ended Oct. 29, but warned of a $200 million revenue hit in Q4 due to Samsung’s Note7 and washer recalls.

Earnings benefitted from cost cutting and improved operational efficiencies and to a lesser extent from sales. Total revenues rose 1.4 percent to $8.9 billion, though U.S. comp sales were up 1.8 percent — the sixth increase in the past nine quarters — capped by the closures of 14 flagship stores and 23 Best Buy Mobile showrooms over the prior 12 months.

But e-commerce remained on a tear, with domestic online comps rising 24.1 percent due to increased traffic, higher average order values and higher conversion rates, the company said. The sales pop pushed up digital’s share of total U.S. revenue to 10.8 percent, from 8.8 percent last year.

On the merchandising front, Best Buy enjoyed strength in home theater, mobile phones, wearables, and connected home, which was partially offset by comp declines in gaming. It also reported improved margin rates in computing and home theater.

Broken out by category, CE comps rose 4.9 percent; majap comps increased 3 percent; comps for computing and mobile phones edged up 1.6 percent; services comps declined 1.8 percent; and entertainment comps, which include movies, music and gaming, fell 9.4 percent.

Computing and mobile phones continue to represent Best Buy’s largest product category with 49 percent of the revenue mix, followed by CE at 31 percent; majaps at 9 percent; entertainment at 6 percent; and services at 5 percent, the company said.

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Source: Best Buy

In a statement, Best Buy chairman/CEO Hubert Joly highlighted the top- and bottom-line growth, and extolled “the continued product innovation we are seeing, the role we play for customers, the growth opportunities in front of us, the quality of our execution, and the strength of our financial performance.”

The earnings results far exceeded analyst estimates, sending Best Buy shares up nearly 9 percent in pre-market trading, approaching the stock’s 52-week high.

Looking ahead, chief financial officer Corie Barry lowered the company’s fourth-quarter U.S. revenue forecast by $200 million, to $13.4 billion-$13.6 billion, reflecting the global recalls of Samsung’s Note7 phablet and 2.8 million top-load washers. Earnings will not be affected.

“We have updated our original expectations to incorporate the impact of recent product recalls and the fact that certain products will simply not be available for sale during our fourth quarter,” he said.

That aside, Joly said the company is locked and loaded for Holiday 2016. “To win holiday and deliver [on the tagline promise of Holiday Gifting Made Easy], we have created an exciting assortment of great and competitively priced products, and we have mobilized our assets, including our leading-edge digital capabilities, fast and free shipping across the entire site during holiday, and of course our knowledgeable Blue Shirts and Geek Squad agents who are here to provide compelling in-store experiences and in-home services.”

Related:Best Buy Priming The Black Friday Pump

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