Reuters

(Reuters)

Best Buy Discloses 4Q Loss, Store Shutdown Plans

By Retail FOXBusiness

Best Buy (BBY) swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss amid slumping same-store sales, leading the world’s largest electronics retailer to unveil new plans to shutter stores.

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The company said it lost $1.7 billion, or $4.89 a share, in the quarter ended March 3, compared with a profit of $651 million, or $1.62 a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned $2.47 a share, topping the Street’s view for $2.16.

Sales jumped to $16.63 billion, but that missed consensus calls from analysts for $17.23 billion. The sales decline was sparked by a 2.4% slump in same-store sales.

In an effort to offset sinking revenue, Best Buy said it plans to slash $800 million in costs by fiscal 2015, including $250 million in fiscal 2013. As part of the multi-year cost-cutting program, the company said it will shut down 50 U.S. big-box stores.

While it pares its big-box stores, Best Buy plans to remodel other stores and to open up 100    U.S. mobile small format stand-alone stores in fiscal 2013.

Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn said the company expects the moves “to provide a better shopping environment for our customers across multiple channels while increasing points of presence, and to improve performance and profitability.”

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He added, “These changes will also help lower our overall cost structure.”

Looking ahead, Best Buy projected fiscal 2013 non-GAAP EPS of $3.50 to $3.80 on sales of $50 billion to $51 billion. By comparison, Wall Street had been looking for EPS of $3.69 on revenue of $51.89 billion.

Shares of Richfield, Minn.-based Best Buy declined 3.53% to $25.68 ahead of the opening bell on Thursday, eating into their 2012 gain of almost 14%.

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