Best Buy Posts Disappointing Holiday Sales Results; Reaffirms Profit Outlook

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File photo of Best Buy logo seen at a store in Toronto.
Sales at stores open at least 14 months fell 1.2 percent in December, while total revenue in the month was $8.4 billion, about the same as last year.

Best Buy Co. (BBY) reported weak December same-store sales due to lower-than-expected holiday traffic, until the week before Christmas. Shares are trading higher after the company said it is standing by its full-year profit forecast.

Sales at stores open at least 14 months fell 1.2 percent in December, while total revenue in the month was $8.4 billion, about the same as the previous year, Best Buy said.

The news came less than a month after Best Buy's third-quarter profit missed Wall Street estimates, hurt by discounts to lure Black Friday shoppers.

The shares of the big box electronics retailer fell off a cliff on Dec. 13, plunging more than 18 percent to close at $23.73 a share, as investors bail in the wake of a 13 percent drop in Best Buy's third quarter profit. The stock continued its downward trend for another week and touched a low of $22.88 before recovering.

Best Buy announced Friday that it's keeping the full-year profit forecast of $3.35 to $3.65 a share, including share repurchases, but excluding items. Weak performance at rival companies, such as Costco Wholesale and Target Corp., also suggests that Best Buy might have gained market shares in December, despite disappointing sales figures.

The actions we have taken during the year to improve our performance online and in key connectable products such as tablets, eReaders and smart phones continued to deliver strong growth in December, Brian Dunn, chief executive officer of Best Buy, said in a statement.

The Richfield, Minn.-based company' shares were up 4.1 percent, or 96 cents, to $24.40 in mid-day trading.

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