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Best Buy sticks to holiday-quarter outlook as electronics demand holds up

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A Best Buy store is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 13, 2017.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

Best Buy

The consumer electronics retailer, which had cut its forecast this summer, reiterated its outlook for the holiday quarter. It raised its full-year forecast to reflect the beat, saying it expects comparable sales to decline about 10%.

Shares of the company rose more than 7% in premarket trading Tuesday.

Here’s how the retailer did for the three-month period ended Oct. 29compared with what Wall Street was anticipating, according to a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.38 adjusted vs. $1.03 expected
  • Revenue: $10.59 billion vs. $10.31 billion expected

Net income for the fiscal third quarter fell to $277 million, or $1.22 per share, from $499 million, or $2 per share, a year earlier.

Best Buy is staring down a more uncertain sales environment this holiday season. Some inflation-pinched consumers are pulling back on discretionary items and spending more money on necessities and experiences. The company joined other retailers in slashing its outlook this summer. It said at the time that it expects same-store sales to drop by about 11% for the 12-month period ending in January.

A month after Best Buy warned of slower sales, it cut jobs across the country.

Yet, so far, the company has topped its own expectations.

Comparable sales fell by 10.4%, less of a decline than the 12.9% that analysts expected, according to FactSet. The key metric, also called same-store sales, tracks sales online and at stores open at least 14 months.

It was also less of a drop than the retailer anticipated. Best Buy had not given specific guidance for comparable sales in the third-quarter, but its Chief Financial Officer Matt Bilunas had cautioned it would drop more than the 12.1% decline in the second quarter.

The company said it has resumed share buybacks, which it paused when it took down its forecast in July.

Shares of Best Buy are down about 30% so far this year, underperforming the S&P 500 Index. Shares closed on Monday at $70.83, down nearly 2%. The company’s market value is $15.95 billion.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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