Shares of consumer electronics and home appliances retailer Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) rose 34.6% in April, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock bounced back from a 30% drop in March, and both the downturn and the rebound were driven by the evolving COVID-19 crisis.
Best Buy slumped in March as the novel coronavirus forced its stores to close their doors to shoppers, reverting to curbside pickups and online orders instead. In April, many states started to consider allowing larger crowds again, suggesting a return to normalcy within a couple of months. Management's business update on April 15 tossed more fuel on the fire because the curbside pickup model delivered a respectable revenue stream at 70% of the comparable year-ago period's weekly sales. The company furloughed 51,000 hourly store workers a few days later and reduced executive salaries by at least 20% until further notice.
Many retailers suffered deeper stock losses than Best Buy because the company sells home office supplies at a time when laptops and decent Wi-Fi networks will let many office workers get their jobs done from their own living rooms.
The office supplies uptick won't last long, and Best Buy can't wait to throw its store doors wide open again. Some states have already launched reopening campaigns, hoping to get the economy back on its feet without triggering another wave of coronavirus infections. Time will tell how that works out. Best Buy is scheduled to report first-quarter results near the end of May and management might deliver another business update or two on the way there. Share prices now stand 58% above the lows of March but they have also fallen 13% year to date.