Shares of consumer electronics retailer Best Buy (BBY 3.10%) soared on Thursday after the company handily beat analyst estimates for first-quarter revenue and earnings. The retailer also raised its guidance for the full year, leading investors to drive the stock up nearly 19% by 11:30 a.m. EDT.
Best Buy reported revenue of $8.53 billion, up 1% year over year and $220 million higher than the average analyst estimate. Comparable sales grew by 1.6%, compared to a 0.1% decline during the prior-year period, driven in part by a 22.5% increase in domestic online sales.
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.60, up from $0.43 in the prior-year period and $0.20 better than analysts were expecting. Gross margin was 23.6%, up 60 basis points year over year after excluding gains from legal settlements. Best Buy cited higher margins in appliances and home theater products as the main drivers, partially offset by margin pressure in mobile and strong sales of low-margin gaming products.
Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly discussed the company's strategy: "We are energized about our opportunities and the strategy we are pursuing. We believe we are uniquely positioned to help our customers in a meaningful way with our combination of multi-channel assets -- including our online, store and in-home capabilities, and I love how our teams are mobilized to deliver on our mission and Build the New Blue."
The better-than-expected first quarter prompted Best Buy to boost its guidance for the full year. The company now expects to produce revenue growth of 2.5% and non-GAAP operating income growth between 3.5% and 8.5%. This is up from previous guidance calling for revenue growth of 1.5% and non-GAAP operating income growth between 1% and 3%. A change in the non-GAAP treatment of certain charges is partly responsible for the higher profit guidance.
With revenue and profit on the rise despite intense competition from online retailers, and with the company increasing its guidance for the full year, there was a lot to like about Best Buy's first-quarter report. The stock carved out a new all-time high on Thursday, with investors betting that the company won't fall victim to the problems plaguing countless other retailers.