Best Buy Co., Inc. Posts Lower Holiday Sales Results, Shares Plunge


The stock price of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) declined more than 27% in early morning trading on Thursday after the company reported that its sales results during the holiday season dropped. The equities of the company are trading at about $27.33 per share as of this writing, around 11:21 A.M. in New York.

Best Buy’s sales details

According to the electronics retailer, its fiscal 2014 holiday revenue was $11.45 billion, lower than its $11.75 billion sales last year. Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) said its domestic segment declined from $9.90 billion to $9.75 billion and international segment from $1.84 billion to $1.69 billion.

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On the brighter side, Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) saw a 23.5% increase in online comparable store sales during the period. The company attributed the strong performance of its online store to several factors including an intense executional focus, higher average order values, increased traffic, and improved inventory availability supported by ship-from-store and online distribution center expansion initiatives.

Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) said strong competition, supply constraints for key products such as tablets and iPhones and a lower volume of customer traffic during the primary week leading up to Christmas contributed to the disappointing holiday sales results of the company.

In a statement, Hubert Joly, president and CEO of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) said, “When we entered the holiday season, we said that price competitiveness was table stakes and an intensely promotional holiday season is what unfolded. In both channels, the promotional intensity that began with Black Friday continued throughout the period…”

According to him, the electronics retailer defended its market share and offered competitive prices by advancing its Renew Blue transformation. Joly said,” It was imperative that we live up to our customer promises – and one of these promises is to offer our customers competitive prices. This investment in pricing did come with a higher-than-expected cost.”

Fourth quarter estimate

Joly said the company estimated that its fourth quarter non-GAAP operating income rate will be lower in the range of 175 to 185 basis points due to its investment in pricing. However he pointed out the market share of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) increased due to its price competitiveness combined with improved customer experience in-store and online based on the 400 basis points improvement in its Net Promoter Score.

Key priorities

Furthermore, Joly said the key priorities of Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) going forward include lowering its cost structure more quickly and deeply, accelerating the growth of its online channel, and continuing the improvement and innovation of multi-channel experience. The company will also enhance its marketing approach and effectiveness and reinvigorate and grow its Geek Squad services business.