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RadioShack: Some Assembly Required

By Sean Williams - Updated Apr 6, 2017 at 10:12PM

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Another quarter of lackluster earnings for this electronics dinosaur.

If you've followed my musings on the consumer electronics sector, you know I haven't exactly been the biggest proponent of RadioShack (NYSE: RSH). I've previously compared the company to a dinosaur and I wonder who exactly shops at RadioShack anymore. After yesterday's earnings report there's even more reason to cast this company off as a lost cause.

RadioShack reported a 2% increase in revenue aided by an 11% jump in its mobility business -- and that's where the good news ended. The remainder of the company's quarterly report was filled with the same disappointing mantra we've come to expect from RadioShack over the years.

First, the company commented that it's in a contractual spat with one of its largest mobile partners, T-Mobile. RadioShack's wireless division is where it generates its highest margins, so it's incredibly disconcerting that its high-margin revenue stream is being negatively affected by a potential breach of contract by T-Mobile.

Excuses were the one area RadioShack did surpass expectations, coming in with four. It blamed poor weather, early debt retirement, increased online competition from Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) and bricks-and-mortar electronics behemoth Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), as well as increased expenses from its mobile kiosk rollout at Target (NYSE: TGT) for its lower EPS. The company's expansion plans -- which are aimed at incorporating 1,450 kiosks inside Target stores -- are only slightly more than halfway done, so it's very likely that expenses will continue to run higher than normal.

Inventory levels also rose considerably in what is traditionally a slower quarter for the company. RadioShack claimed the $49.2 million year-over-year jump in inventory levels is to support the new mobile rollout in Target locations, which could very well be accurate. But higher inventory levels could also signal a poor product mix, and one of my largest concerns with RadioShack has always been how stale its business has become and how quickly the company has fallen behind the innovation curve.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that RadioShack lowered its full-year EPS expectations to a range of $1.60 to $1.80 from previous guidance of $1.60 to $1.90. Aside from the ballyhoo surrounding the Shack selling iPads, there just isn't a whole lot to be excited about. RadioShack's business model is clearly broken, and it doesn't look like anyone has the instructional booklet to put this humpty dumpty back together again.

What do you think? Is RadioShack for real or is its business model broken? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and consider tracking RadioShack with My Watchlist.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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