Best Buy Tops Q2 Earnings Forecast, Cautions on Sales Growth

Best Buy CFO Matt Bilunas said that the retailer's Q3 sales would be "higher compared to last year but likely will not continue at the current quarter-to-date level of approximately 20% growth" following stronger-than-expected Q2 earnings.

Best Buy Co Inc.  (BBY) - Get Best Buy Co., Inc. Report posted much stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Tuesday, but declined to provide a full-year profit forecast and said third quarter sales growth would likely slow amid the ongoing pandemic uncertainty.

Best Buy said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending on August 1 were pegged at $1.71 per share, up 58.3% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.08 per share. Group revenues, Best Buy said, rose 3.9% to $9.91 billion, a figure that also topped analysts's estimates of a $9.7 billion tally.

Same store sales, Best Buy said, were 5.8% higher from last year, well ahead of the Refinitiv forecast of 3.6%, while online sales surged by 242%. 

“As a result of the ongoing uncertainty, we are not providing financial guidance today,' said CFO Matt Bilunas. "However, I would note that we are planning for Q3 sales to be higher compared to last year but likely will not continue at the current quarter-to-date level of approximately 20% growth. Also, as our stores are fully reopened, we are planning for Q3 SG&A expense to be more in line with last year’s third quarter.”

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“Overall, as we plan for the back half of the year, we continue to weigh many factors including potential future government stimulus actions, the current shift in personal consumption expenditures from areas like travel and dining out, the possible depth and duration of the pandemic, the risk of higher unemployment over time, and the availability of inventory to match customer demand,” he added.

Best Buy shares were marked 6.15% lower in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $110.39 each, a move that would trim the stock's year-to-date gain to around 25.7%

Best Buy told investors on July 22 that Q2 sales had risen 2.5% through to July 18, compared to last year's pace, while accounting for sales in stores that began fully re-opening on June 15, Best Buy said, the increase is 15% from last year. 

The pace of online sale growth into July 18 was 255%, Best Buy said, thanks to growth in demand for computers, appliances and computer tablets. Online sales from June 15 through to July 18 rose 185%, Best Buy said, compared to a 155% pace recorded over the whole of its fiscal first quarter.