Best Buy scored another fourth-quarter touchdown.
The nation’s No. 1 consumer tech retailer this morning reported same-store sales growth of 3 percent during its fiscal fourth quarter, covering the key holiday and Super Bowl selling periods. The comp gain was on top of a 9 percent increase during the year-ago quarter.
Total revenue slipped 3.7 percent to $14.8 billion for the three months ended Feb. 2, owing to one less week in the reporting cycle and the closure last year of 12 Best Buy stores and the remaining fleet of 257 Best Buy Mobile boutiques.
Online revenue in the U.S. rose 9.3 percent year over year to nearly $3 billion, thanks to higher conversion rates and increased traffic. Online now represents almost 22 percent of Best Buy’s total U.S. revenue, an increase of 190 basis points.
Gross profit margin was essentially flat at 22.2 percent, but net earnings rose 102 percent to $735 million for the period, boosted by an effective tax rate that was slashed from 58.2 percent last year to 24.3 percent during the recent quarter. Best Buy’s year-ago results were also dampened by the payment of a one-time repatriation tax fee of $209 million.
“We are very proud of the financial results we have just delivered,” said Hubert Joly, the company’s chairman/CEO. “I so appreciate the hard work of our associates, as well as our partners, in driving these terrific results.”
On the product front, wearables, appliances, smart home and gaming were the biggest money makers, but their gains were partially offset by a decline in mobile phone sales. Appliance comps actually cratered from last year, falling from 20.7 percent to 8.5 percent, while comp sales from services, including Geek Squad tech support and an expanded In-Home Advisor program, more than doubled to 13.7 percent.
Looking to the current fiscal year, Best Buy is forecasting full-year comp increases of 0.5 percent to 2.5 percent, compared to last year’s 4.8 percent gain, and full-year revenue of $42.9 billion to $43.9 billion, compared to last year’s $42.9 billion.
“Going forward, our priority in fiscal 2020 is to continue to transform the company by bringing to market solutions that solve real customer needs and by building customer relationships,” said chief financial officer and strategic transformation officer Corie Barry.