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Why Best Buy Stock Just Crashed

By Rich Smith - Updated Feb 25, 2021 at 3:09PM

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The electronics retailer missed on sales in Q4. How bad is that?

What happened

Shares of electronics superstore chain Best Buy (BBY 4.81%) sure don't seem to be living up to their name today, at least not as of 3:20 p.m. EST, when they were down 8.8%.

Why are Best Buy shares down? In an early-morning earnings report today, the retailer confirmed that it had beaten analyst estimates for its fiscal fourth-quarter 2021 profits, earning $3.48 per share on a pro forma basis when only $3.45 was expected. But the company missed on sales, turning in $16.9 billion last quarter versus analyst expectations for $17.2 billion.  

Simple red arrow declining stock chart on a white checked background

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

And yet it's hard to get too mad at Best Buy for these numbers. Even if sales weren't all the analysts had hoped for, the company still grew its revenue 11% year over year in the fourth quarter, and better than 8% for the year as a whole. That's not too shabby for a retailer operating in a year of recession and pandemic.

Profits were pretty good as well. According to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), Best Buy earned $3.10 per share, diluted, for the quarter, and $6.84 for the year. That works out to 9% quarterly growth and 19% for the year. Not too shabby, indeed.

Now what

Looking ahead to Best Buy's fiscal 2022, CFO Matt Bilunas expressed confidence in the long-term strategy and believes the company is investing from a position of strength, especially with online sales, which grew 89% in the fourth quarter. The company expects online sales will make up 40% of total sales in the future.

Although management is a little uncertain on how the retail business will perform this year because of the coronavirus, Best Buy's best guess is that it will hold same-store sales roughly even this year (anywhere from up 1%, to down 2%). Assuming that most of the investments needed to position the company to perform well in the age of coronavirus have now been made, that should work out to at least flat profits this year as well.

And at current prices, that gives Best Buy about a 15 P/E -- quite a bargain in a market where the S&P 500 is trading for a 39 multiple.  

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