3. Best Buy's Bandwagon
Too bad they didn't come to that epiphany two months and eight points ago.
Shares of the electronics retailer popped 1% to $20.25 Tuesday after Goldman Sachs became the latest investment bank to jump on the Best Buy bandwagon. Goldman analyst Matthew J. Fassler upgraded his rating on the company to a "buy" from "neutral," slapping a one-year $25 price target on the stock."BBY remains in a challenged position, selling big-ticket commodities against lower-cost online competition. That said, we expect cost controls to aid profitability, and our estimates are now positioned above the Street for 2013-2014, even assuming ongoing gross profit declines," wrote Fassler. Yeah, it's hardly a glowing review. Essentially Fassler is saying he expects the new management's austerity program to work at Best Buy, even if something similar is causing a revolution in Southern Europe. Actually, what he is really doing is kicking himself for not pulling the trigger at the start of 2013 when the heavily-shorted stock (about 14% of its shares) was trading below $12. Now that it's been squeezed higher, he's also probably pissed that some of his competitors including analysts at Piper Jaffray and Jeffries beat him to the upgrade in the past week, making his own grand declaration look like a me-too call. "Like other retail turnarounds we have seen, we are at the point in Best Buy's turnaround story where we don't have all the information we would like to understand the reinvention of Best Buy, but nonetheless we sense an inflection point," wrote Jeffries analyst Daniel Binder last Wednesday when he boosted his rating to "buy" from "hold" and his price target to $24 from $13. Come again, Daniel? You "sense an inflection point"? That's hilarious. You sense nothing of the sort. You looked at a stock chart and realized you had to play catch up. Don't worry though. You made your point with us and ahead of Goldman. We suppose that's all that counts.
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