I get that this joint venture was more of an attempt to help Samsung attack Apple's (AAPL) retail advantage, but given the improved traffic the relationship has created, it matters very little what the original plan was. What's more, given the improvement I've seen in Best Buy's margins and with the company's 14% increase in operating income, I will argue that Best Buy has benefited more from the Samsung deal than has Samsung.
The bears will likely disagree on this as well. But from the standpoint of mere "relevance" this partnership has added an extra layer of importance to the "big box" idea. In fact, things have gone so well with Samsung that Best Buy now has a similar agreement in place with Microsoft (MSFT). It remains to be seen how CEO Steve Ballmer's planned retirement might affect this arrangement, but Windows stores inside Best Buys should present meaningful advantages to both companies.
I've said this on more than one occasion: corporate turnarounds are never easy. As confidently I can now speak about Best Buy, I will admit that I never truly believed this beleaguered retail giant could escape the grasp of Amazon, which has done so much damage to so many other retailers. But signs are finally pointing upward for Best Buy.
The winners out of all of this have been the shareholders. After all, it wasn't that long ago the company's founder and largest shareholder, Richard Schulze, had grown frustrated and offered to take the company private last year for about $24 to $26 per share. Investors resisted. Today, the stock is trading 50% higher than Schulze's offer. Who said patience wasn't virtuous? Given the company's continued improvements, more patience should land this stock at a solid $40 by the end of the year.At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL. Follow @saintssense This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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