Best Buy Co., Inc. reported net earnings of U.S. $763 million, or $1.55 per diluted share, for its fiscal fourth quarter ended on March 3, 2007. Earnings per diluted share increased 20 percent compared with $1.29 per diluted share, or $644 million, for the prior year’s fourth quarter.
Earnings per diluted share grew 20 percent in the fourteen-week fiscal period to $1.55, compared with $1.29 for the prior year’s thirteen-week fiscal fourth quarter.
Total revenue increased 21 percent to $12.9 billion, fueled by a comparable store sales gain of 5.9 percent, an extra week of business, new store openings and acquired stores. The company’s domestic segment reported a comparable store sales gain of 4.8 percent, and its international segment posted a 14.0-percent comparable store sales gain. The online business also performed strongly with revenue growth of approximately 40 percent.
Best Buy’s selling, general and administrative expense rate improved by 70 basis points, driven by leverage of payroll costs and leverage of other costs associated with a larger revenue base. Expense reductions nearly offset a decrease in the gross profit rate, which was primarily due to growth in revenue from lower-margin products.
Best Buy Canada improved its operating income rate by 120 basis points, driven by strong revenue growth and leverage on infrastructure costs. The company opened its first Best Buy China store in Shanghai on Dec. 28, 2006.
Fiscal 2007 earnings per diluted share grew 23 percent to $2.79, compared with $2.27 per diluted share one year ago. Fiscal 2007 revenue increased 16 percent to $35.9 billion, fueled by 231 net new store openings (including 145 acquired stores) in the past 12 months and a comparable store sales gain of 5.0 percent. The company’s operating income rate improved to 5.6 percent, reflecting reduced SG&A expenses and leverage on higher revenue. Total share repurchases and dividends paid during the fiscal year totaled $774 million, a 56-percent payout of net earnings to shareholders.
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