December 14, 2005

Best Buy is managed by Weasels

I have long been a pissed off customer of best buy, prone to use the intercom phone to track down help in a loud screaching voice. Anything worthwhile can be bought at an apple store with twice the service and a better atmosphere.

The analysis from Jeff Matthews suns up the little revenue scam that may not go onforever


Earnings Breakage?


Gross profit dollars increased 16% to $1.8 billion, fueled by revenue growth and a 120-basis-point improvement in the gross profit rate. The improvement included a 30-basis-point benefit (or $0.04 per diluted share) related to the initial recognition of gift card breakage (gift cards sold but not expected to be redeemed). The gift card breakage was recognized in revenue [emphasis added].


Thus reads today’s earnings press release from Best Buy, which—surprise, surprise—matched the Street’s 28c a share earnings expectation to the penny.

Followers of the retail sector—and anybody who’s ever received a gift card themselves—know that a certain percentage of those cards are never redeemed. They get lost or forgotten—or they’re from stores you never get around to visiting.

But without this up-front inclusion of assumed income from credit card “breakage” it looks like Best Buy would not have been close to the $0.28 a share earnings expected by Wall Street’s Finest.

Sounds more like earnings breakage to me.

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