Heading into earnings on June 10, some RadioShack (NYSE: RSHCQ ) investors might be wondering whether to get out of their positions now or buy more with the expectation that shares are undervalued. After seeing the company's stock pop up 24% in the past week alone, it might be tempting to cash out. But when you consider that shares are still trading at a 66% discount to their 52-week high, it's also hard to justify selling and going with rival Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) .
Mr. Market's very pessimistic about RadioShack
For the quarter, analysts expect RadioShack to reported revenue of $764.3 million. If forecasts are correct, this means that the electronics retailer's top line will have fallen 10% year over year from the $849 million management reported for the same quarter last year. While some part of this expected decline is likely being attributed to falling comparable-store sales, another major driver behind analysts' dour forecast has to be the closing of up to 200 stores that is expected to take place throughout the year.
|Forecast Results||Last Year's Results|
|Revenue||$764.3 million||$849 million|
|Earnings per Share||-$0.51||-$0.35|
From an earnings perspective, Mr. Market is even more skeptical about RadioShack's prospects. For the quarter, the company is expected to post a loss of $0.51 per share, significantly wider than the $0.35 loss management reported for its first quarter last year. If this forecast comes to fruition, the company's bottom line will be negatively affected by falling sales; but it will likely also be hit by lower margins from increased promotional activities as well as impairment charges.
Is Best Buy any better?
For the Foolish investor who's set on buying into an electronics retailer, Best Buy might be a best pick (pun intended). Over the past five years, the retailer saw its revenue drop by just 3% from $43.8 billion to $42.4 billion; a 26% jump in store count from 1,565 locations in 2009 to 1,968 by year-end 2013 was barely canceled out by an aggregate comparable-store sales decline of 7%.
During the same five-year period, RadioShack's revenue plummeted 16% from $4.1 billion to $3.4 billion. Like Best Buy, RadioShack's top line was hit by a fall in comparable-store sales (an aggregate drop of 12%), but it also experienced a 16% falloff in store count from 6,563 locations to 5,519.
Looking at profits, Best Buy continued to outperform RadioShack, but not by much. Between 2009 and 2013, the retailer's net income fell a whopping 60% from $1.3 billion to $532 million. This was due, in part, to the company's falling sales but can mostly be chalked up to rising interest expenses, growing impairment charges, and significant losses coming from discontinued operations.
As bad as Best Buy's bottom line has been, even it looks good when the company is placed next to RadioShack. Over a similar time frame, the smaller retailer saw its net income of $205 million turn into a net loss of $400.2 million. In addition to being hurt severely by falling sales, RadioShack's profits were negatively affected by its cost of goods sold, which rose from 54.1% of sales to 65.9%, and its selling, general, and administrative expenses, which jumped from 35.3% of sales to 41%.
Based on the data above, it's understandable why some shareholders might be nervous for RadioShack's upcoming earnings release. In addition to having analysts pitted against the business, management has the company's poor long-term track record holding it down. True, Best Buy's numbers haven't been great either, but for the Foolish investor looking for a good electronics retailer, it might make for a better relative prospect than RadioShack given its superior long-term results.
Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
For investors looking to get into technology products, RadioShack's old brick-and-mortar setup may not be the way to go. While the company does provide some opportunities, it may be more rewarding for the Foolish investor to jump on the next big thing in tech!
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