A Better Buy Than Best Buy?

Apparently, a lot of investors decided there were better buys in the market than Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) . Shares fell yesterday after the electronics retailer's first-quarter results failed to provide a jolt of positive sentiment.

First-quarter earnings rose only 1.3%, to $155 million, or $0.36 per share. Revenue increased 7%, to $10.8 billion, and same-store sales increased 2.8%. Gross margin nudged up to 25.9%, from 25.3% in the year-ago period.

International revenue increased 11%, to $2.9 billion, although that's not as exciting as it sounds; without currency fluctuations, it was a mere 1.4% jump. However, international same-store sales did climb 6.3%, and China was a particular highlight, with comps surging approximately 30%.

Best Buy said it continues to gain domestic market share, up by an estimated 100 basis points. The company continues to develop new markets, and it's locking horns with GameStop (NYSE: GME  ) by encouraging customers to trade in used video games at its stores. That's a big "uh-oh" for GameStop, but not surprising in the least, since Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) , Toys "R" Us, and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) are among the major retailers that have also tackled that route.  

Despite investors' less-than-thrilled response, Best Buy's quarter wasn't all that bad. Compare it to small rival Conn's (Nasdaq: CONN  ) , which recently reported quarterly net income plunging 51%, while revenue fell a sickening 18%.

Current weakness in Best Buy's share price might create a buying opportunity. The big-box retailer's trading at just 10 times forward earnings, cheaper even than stocks like Wal-Mart and Target, both of which fetch 12 times forward earnings. Best Buy's management seems to think its stock is a bargain, too, since the company bought back roughly 2.5 million shares in the quarter. In contrast, Conn's may trade at just eight times forward earnings, but given the major stumble in its business lately, buyer beware.

Best Buy remains a best-in-class retail stock and a leader in its particular retail niche. When it comes to better buys among retail stocks, Best Buy is one of the best picks.

Best Buy and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Amazon.com and Best Buy are Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Best Buy. Motley Fool Options has recommended writing covered calls on GameStop. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On June 16, 2010, at 2:46 PM, breezious wrote:

    "That's a big "uh-oh" for GameStop, but not surprising in the least, since Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) are among the major retailers that have also tackled that route."

    Well they tried and failed, that is why Gamestop will still be able to buy and sell used games, not to mention the fact that they offer cash for their games, Best Buy is offering gift cards.

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