Holiday season

Best Buy’s sales rebound forecast drives stocks higher after tough holiday season

The Best Buy logo is seen at a store in Manhattan, New York, U.S., November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Pandemic sales have been exceeded again in two years
  • Merchandise shortages weighed on holiday season sales
  • Best Buy adapts to the return to work trend

March 3 (Reuters) – Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) said on Thursday it expects annual sales to top pandemic peak levels in 2024, making up for a disappointing holiday quarter when the main US electronics retailer has been dogged by product shortages.

Shares of Best Buy, a big beneficiary of remote working in the pandemic era, rose 5% in premarket trading even as it forecast a bigger-than-expected drop in revenue for the year In progress.

Demand for laptops, webcams and other computer accessories for home offices surged during the pandemic, but is expected to decline this year as offices reopen.

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However, Best Buy said it was confident its new $200-a-year membership program, along with other tech support and healthcare services, would boost long-term revenue.

“As we look to FY25, we expect the consumer electronics industry to return to the level we saw last year, which is well above pre-pandemic levels, and that Totaltech, Best Buy Health and other initiatives will drive significant growth,” said Chief Financial Officer Matt Bilunas.

SHORT-TERM CHALLENGES

The company is forecasting revenue of $53.5 billion to $56.5 billion for its fiscal year ending January 2025, well above estimates of $53.51 billion. It reported revenue of $51.76 billion for fiscal 2021.

Evercore ISI analysts said the sales outlook for fiscal 2025 is “much stronger than expected”, while the operating margin outlook of 6.6% was also a pleasant surprise, levels last observed in 1986.

In the short term, however, Best Buy is grappling with shortages of home appliances, cellphones and game consoles caused by a crisis in semiconductor chips and supply chain bottlenecks.

A staff shortage due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus also affected sales, the company said.

Comparable sales fell 2.3% in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, more than analysts’ estimate for a 0.2% decline.

Best Buy expects revenue of $49.3 billion to $50.8 billion in fiscal 2023, while analysts expected $51.05 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

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Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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