Best Buy’s earnings fall in first quarter, after initial sales surge during pandemic

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Best Buy said Thursday that its revenue and earnings fell in the first quarter, despite an initial surge of shopping as customers set up their home offices and prepared for kids to attend school remotely during the pandemic.

The retailer’s sales were also affected later in the quarter, as it decided to shut stores to customers and switch to only curbside pickup outside of them.

Best Buy shares fell about 2% in premarket trading Thursday. 

Here’s what Best Buy reported for the first quarter ended May 2:

  • Earnings per share: 67 cents, adjusted
  • Revenue: $8.56 billion
  • Domestic same-store sales: down 5.7%

Best Buy said first-quarter net income fell to $159 million, or 61 cents per share, from $265 million, or 98 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding some items, Best Buy earned 67 cents per share. Analysts were expecting Best Buy would earn 44 cents per share, according to Refinitiv. 

The company’s revenue fell to $8.56 billion, from $9.14 billion a year earlier, beating analysts’ estimate of $8.16 billion.

Domestic same-store sales were down 5.7%. Analysts estimated same-store sales would drop by 10%.

The retailer had a wave of sales early in the coronavirus pandemic, as customers bought kitchen appliances, computer monitors and other items to help them work, cook and learn during long stays at home.

In mid-March, Best Buy withdrew its fiscal 2021 financial outlook. It also drew the full amount of its $1.25 billion revolving credit facility and suspended all share buybacks.

The company shut its stores to customers in late March, but continued to sell online and offer curbside pickup. In mid-April, however, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said the company would furlough about 51,000 employees and take other cost-cutting measures. 

Best Buy began to reopen some of its stores to customers in early May, but only by appointment. Its employees have stepped up safety measures, as they wear masks and gloves, escort each customer at a social distance and wipe down everything the customer touches.

Read the full press release here.

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