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Best Buy Loses to Amazon and Shoppers Move Online

Best Buy store. Image is cropped.

Best Buy store. Image is cropped. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fewer people have purchased electronics, and many now buy online, meaning that shares of Best Buy (BBY) fell by 6.7 percent in early trading, and fell for a third consecutive quarter. The chain, the largest specialty electronics retailer in the US, predicted that this trend would continue throughout the year.

US same store sales declined by 2.7 percent and the company predicted margins would remain at risk because of discounting in some countries, an overall soft industry and increased sales of lower margin items. Christopher Horvers, an analyst with JP Morgan pointed out that a new IPhone launch and sales of 4K high definition TVs could benefit Best Buy. The company predicted soft sales right up until the release of new model mobile phones. The impact of increased sales of 4K televisions would be slight, according to best Buy CEO Hubert Joly.

CFO Sharon McCollam pointed out that there has been a decline around the world in many of the consumer electronic categories that Best Buy competes in, although the company still plans to invest $40 or 50 million to improve order processing and shipping.

Industry wide, sales of consumer electronics, including computers and televisions fell 2.5 percent during the quarter, according to NPD Group. Best Buy relies on these items for about 65 percent of its revenue. Analysts had forecasted Best Buy's revenue to decrease by $8.99 billion during the second quarter, although the actual figure was $8.89 billion.

Since 2012, Joly has tried to offset the declining sales by boosting cash reserves, closing poorly performing stores, eliminating management positions and laying off employees. The net income attributable to shareholders dropped by 42 cents per share during the last year, or by 4146 million. legal settlements yielded $229 million and continuing operations earned 44 cents per share, as compared to the 31 cents predicted by analysts. Since the start of the year, best Buy stock has decreased by 20 percent, and shares were recently trading at $30.46, a 4.8 percent decrease.

However, Amazon, (AMZN) one of the main competitors of Best Buy, saw sales increase almost 30 percent to $8.37 billion, and the quarter ending June 24 saw a 27 percent increase with sales of $13.28 billion.