Call the Geek Squad, Best Buy's in Trouble

If you didn’t know better, you’d think Best Buy’s third-quarter earnings report, released today, had written by the Grinch.

Following the release, the company’s stock began a free fall, dropping 15.25 percent to $35.34 a share over concerns that the retailer is losing market share to Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart and others.

What’s worse is that the retailer appears to be one of a few that is not seeing this year’s goodwill. ComScore is reporting big online sales gains this year compared to last year, and the Commerce Department said today that retail sales rose for a fifth straight month in November due to increasing consumer confidence.

Meanwhile, Best Buy reported a 4.4 percent drop in quarterly profits, and was forced to lower its per-share profit forecast for the year to the range of $3.20 to $3.40, which is down from its previous guidance of $3.55 to $3.70 a share.

In the three months ended Nov. 27, Best Buy reported $11.9 billion in revenues, falling from $12.02 billion in the same period a year ago. Net income fell to $217 million from $227 million in the same period last year.

In the quarter, Best Buy said sales of TVs declined in the U.S., but the loss was partially offset by an increase in smartphones and tablet computers. Best Buy faces stiff competition from retailers such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target and GameStop, which were more aggressive on pricing. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company surrendered 110 basis points of market share in the most recent quarter.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google