Best Buy beats first-quarter expectations amid coronavirus in-store closures

Best Buy said profit fell to $159 million, or 61 cents a share

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Best Buy Co. reported lower first-quarter sales and earnings after closing all of its domestic stores in March to halt the spread of the coronavirus but performed better on those measurements than analysts were expecting.

The retailer on Thursday reported revenue slid to $8.56 billion for the quarter ended May 2 from $9.14 billion a year earlier.

Analysts expected $8.24 billion for the latest period, according to FactSet.

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BBYBEST BUY78.09+1.66+2.17%

The company said profit fell to $159 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with $265 million, or 98 cents a share, the year earlier.

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After adjustments, Best Buy said its profit fell to 67 cents a share, more than the 49 cents a share profit that analysts expected for that metric.

Best Buy reported lower first-quarter sales and earnings. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Comparable sales fell 5.7% in the U.S., its largest market. Best Buy reported lower demand for products like home-theater equipment and mobile phones, which offset better performances for computing devices and games.

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In March, Best Buy closed its stores to customers. It moved to focus on selling merchandise online and getting goods to shoppers using curbside pick-up options.

The company was "able to retain approximately 81% of last year's sales during the last six weeks of the quarter, even though not a single customer set foot in our stores," Chief Executive Corie Barry said.

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Best Buy has begun reopening stores. At present, the company has almost 700 locations open by appointment, or 70% of its store base, Best Buy said Thursday.

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