"Overall we were impressed with Corie Barry's knowledge of the business, and we believe she will be a good fit to carry on what has been a very management-driven investment story," proclaimed Credit Suisse analyst Seth Sigman in a note Thursday after having lunch with Barry, Best Buy's CEO Hubert Joly, and former CFO Sharon McCollam.
Sigman added, "We believe Ms. Barry brings unique experience to the new role, having worked closely with Ms. McCollam over the years and serving in a number of operational, financial and strategic roles."
The change in the CFO suite announced late last month surprised Wall Street and rocked the stock. McCollam officially stepped down as CFO on June 14 and was replaced by Barry, a 16-year veteran of Best Buy and its former chief strategic growth officer.
McCollam, a well-regarded executive who led Best Buy's huge cost-cutting plan, said she is retiring to spend more time with her husband. Her departure sparked concern that Best Buy could stumble on delivering the cost cuts it has promised to investors that are designed to offset weak sales.
Best Buy shares have plunged about 9% since the announcement.
Sentiment on the company's prospects wasn't helped by a June 6 disclosure that Joly dumped $12.8 million worth of his Best Buy stock. The sale represented 44% of Joly's vested shares and 25% of his company holdings when his stock options and performance shares are considered.
The only question now worth asking is whether Barry can boost the business she is overseeing and pitching to Wall Street. Best Buy's business has been mixed, at best.
Best Buy's domestic same-store sales fell 0.1% in the first quarter, better than its guidance for a 1% to 2% decline. The company credited sales momentum in TVs, home theater, appliances and wearable devices, which helped to mostly counteract weakness in Geek Squad services and tablets.
Sales online from Best Buy's domestic business spiked 23.9% from the prior year, a quicker pace than the 5.3% increase seen a year earlier. Traffic to Best Buy's website and its conversion rate improved, it said.
Second-quarter same-store sales are expected to be unchanged and earnings are pegged at 38 cents to 42 cents a share. Wall Street expected 50 cents a share back in late May when the outlook was released.
Best Buy did reiterate that it expects full-year sales and operating profit margin to remain unchanged from the prior year, as sales pick up in the second half, likely due to a new new iPhone and Apple Watch from tech giant Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report . Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio.
But if Best Buy was banking on Apple to drive a pick-up in business later this year, that plan may have hit a snag.
According to various media reports, major updates to the iPhone will not be coming this year but instead in 2017, which may cause consumers to delay upgrading their smartphones. Meanwhile, Apple only unveiled minor updates to the Apple Watch software at its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month -- not the ground-breaking new features that would have sent a flood of people into a Best Buy store or online.
Welcome to the job.