- Best Buy's fourth quarter sales increased 2.7% year over year to $15.2 billion as comparable sales rose 3.2%. Q4 marked the 12th straight quarter of comparable sales growth, CEO Corie Barry said in a press release.
- Operating income decreased 1.1% to $967 million while net earnings increased 1.4% to $745 million. Sales, comps and earnings beat the FactSet consensus, sending Best Buy share prices up 3.4% in premarket trading, according to MarketWatch.
- For the full fiscal year, the electronics retailer's sales rose 1.8% to $43.6 billion, and comps grew 2.1%. (Domestically, the metric increased 2.3%.)
Best Buy again proved itself a top competitor in a tough and changing retail world, one that can be especially hostile to category specialists as Amazon and mass merchants are always on the look out to steal share.
To that end, Moody's lead Best Buy analyst Charlie O'Shea said in emailed comments that Best Buy maintained pricing discipline and held on to margins "despite an intensely promotional environment, particularly from Walmart and Amazon as both utilized price and shipping promotions to drive sales."
Barry said her company's results show "our strength as a successful multi-channel retailer who can meet customers when and where they want." She added, "We offered compelling holiday deals that resonated with customers and provided a seamless shopping experience, great inventory availability and fast and free delivery."
In emailed comments, GlobalData Retail Managing Director Neil Saunders described Best Buy's results as "robust." However, he pointed to the retailer's slight decline in operating profits as "one small downside" in the earnings release, which he noted was "a function of a lower margin mix and some tariff related impacts."
As for the Q4 sales growth, Saunders pointed to demand (especially among younger gift recipients) for smaller electronics such as headphones. Consumer interest in appliances also helped Best Buy, as did the shopping holiday, which Saunders said "played right into Best Buy's hands" as customers opted to shop online and use in-store pick-up services.
The company's forecasts for the current fiscal year were less rosy than the recent results, with management estimating roughly flat sales and comp growth of 0% to 2%. "There is some concern that the demand environment is tightening and that consumers are more reluctant and cautious about big purchases," Saunders said.
He also noted concerns around coronavirus, which could cause supply chain disruptions for some retailers. Best Buy CFO Matt Bilunas addressed the topic in a statement, describing the situation as "fluid" and adding that the company expected impact to be limited to the first half of the year.