NEW YORK (AP) — Best Buy Co. reported strong fourth-quarter results as shoppers bought appliances, mobile phones and tablets during the holiday season.
The robust results, announced Thursday, beat Wall Street expectations, and came as many of its big box peers like Target and Walmart had wrestled with sales shortfalls.
Best Buy, which is facing increasing competition from Amazon, is holding its own after aggressively expanding its online operations, speeding up deliveries and making visits to its stores for customers a better experience. That effort was led by Hubert Joly until he stepped down in 2019 after seven years as CEO. Corie Barry took over the job in June.
The Richfield, Minnesota, company is also expanding into technology aimed at older customers. Last May, Best Buy acquired Critical Signal Technologies, a provider of personal emergency response systems and telehealth monitoring services for at-home seniors. In August, it bought the predictive health care technology business of BioSensics and hired its data science and engineering team. In 2018, it purchased Great Call, which provides emergency response devices for the aging.
The company introduced curbside pickup service that allows shoppers to pick up items without getting out of their car at 100 stores. It said it already accounts for 15% of store pickup units at those locations. It plans to expand that service to the majority of stores this fiscal year.
Like many retailers, Best Buy has been whipsawed by the U.S. trade wars with China and now, a new virus in China is also throwing a wrench in supply chains. Best Buy offered a profit outlook that factored in the impact of the virus but said the situation was too fluid to determine exact financial impacts from the disruption of its supply network. It said it’s analyzing the situation vendor by vendor and weighing which factories are back up and running.
“We view this as a relatively short-term disruption that does not impact our long-term strategy and initiatives,” said Best Buy Chief Financial Officer Matt Bilunas in a statement.
But Best Buy is entering the year with some strength.
In the quarter ended Feb. 1, it earned net income of $745 million, or $2.84 per share. Earnings, adjusted for amortization costs, were $2.90 per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations of $2.76 per share, based on a survey by Zacks Investment Research.
The consumer electronics retailer said revenue rose to $15.2 billion in the period, also surpassing Street forecasts. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $15.09 billion.
Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 3.2% for the fourth quarter, marking the 12th straight quarter of comparable sales growth.
For the fiscal year, the company reported profit of $1.54 billion, or $5.75 per share. Revenue was reported as $43.64 billion.
For the current quarter ending in May, Best Buy expects its per-share earnings to range from $1 to $1.05. Analysts expect $1.08 per share, according to FactSet.
The company said it expects revenue in the range of $9.1 billion to $9.2 billion for the fiscal first quarter. Analysts surveyed by Zacks had expected revenue of $9.26 billion.
Best Buy expects full-year earnings per share in the range of $6.10 to $6.30, with revenue ranging from $43.3 billion to $44.3 billion.
Shares were down nearly 3%, or $2.38, to $79.81 in late-morning trading amid a broader stock market sell-off.
Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on BBY at https://www.zacks.com/ap/BBY