Best Buy Q1 Comps Soar 7.1%

But share price punished for slower online growth
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Best Buy employees gather together before the start of Thanksgiving evening promotions.

Updated! Best Buy’s top and bottom lines were on a roll last quarter, with comp sales nearly matching its holiday performance last winter.

Yet shares of the No. 1 tech retailer were down nearly 8 percent at post time, due ostensibly to a slowdown in online growth.

Here are the numbers: For the three months, ended May 5, net earnings rose 10.6 percent, to $208 million, and total U.S. revenue was up 6.3 percent, to $8.4 billion, despite the closures of 17 big-box and 193 mobile stores.

See: Best Buy Hanging Up On Phone Stores

Comp sales increased 7.1 percent, and domestic online revenue rose a respectful 12 percent, to $1.1 billion, though still a falloff from the fourth quarter’s 17.9 percent spurt and the 22.3 percent increase for the three months before that.

On an earnings call, chief financial officer Corie Barry said year-ago web sales were boosted by product launches like the Nintendo Switch and Samsung Galaxy S8 that favored the online channel. She added that Best Buy data shows continued market share gains in digital.

Chairman/CEO Hubert Joly was clearly joyful. “We are happy to report better-than-expected top- and bottom-line results for the first quarter,” he said, citing positive comps across all regions, distribution channels and most product categories.

Joly credited the results to “healthy consumer confidence,” product innovation, and Best Buy’s business model, which includes a heaping helping of services and Blue Shirt assistance.

See: Best Buy Takes ‘Total Tech Support’ National

On the product front, standout categories for the quarter included mobile phones, appliances, computing, tablets and smart home, while online sales rose on higher average order totals and higher conversion rates.

E-commerce now represents 13.6 percent of total domestic revenue, up from 12.9 percent for the year ago period, the company said.   

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