Is Best Buy keeping up with Amazon?

Store's stock has soared this year
Posted at 7:03 AM, Aug 23, 2017

Amazon's stock has surged nearly 30% in the past year.

If you think that's impressive (it is), consider this:

Best Buy, a company many investors assumed was in big trouble because of the threat from Amazon, is up 55%.

The brick and mortar retailer's remarkable success is all the more impressive because it sells many of the same things you can buy on Amazon.

Some retailers appear Amazon-proof. Home Depot comes to mind. You're probably a lot more likely to go to Home Depot for plywood than purchase it from Amazon.

In the case of Best Buy, there have been plenty of jokes (including ones made by me) about its brick and mortar stores being nothing more than an Amazon showroom -- where you can price that TV and ultimately order it cheaper online.

But those are now ancient history. Best Buy is having the last laugh.

Related video: These retailers have filed for bankruptcy this year



It has not suffered the same fate as Circuit City or H.H. Gregg, two other electronics retailers that went bankrupt and wound up closing their stores. RadioShack filed for bankruptcy for a second time earlier this year.

In fact, shares of Best Buy are close to a record high. Since the company named Hubert Joly as its CEO five years ago, its stock has been an amazing performer, up about 240%.

Sure, that still lags the 300% gain for Amazon since August 2012. But the S&P 500 is up just 75% during the same time frame while the S&P Retail ETF has risen only 25%.

Best Buy reported a solid quarter in May, with profits topping analysts' expectations thanks to solid sales of video games and consoles as well as appliances.

What's more, Best Buy is also going toe to toe with Amazon in the digital world and doing quite well. Best Buy's online sales in the U.S. were up nearly 23% in the quarter.

The company will announce its latest earnings on August 29. Investors will be paying particularly close attention to guidance the company gives. Black Friday and the holiday shopping season aren't too far away.

Video games could once again be a hit. Nintendo's popular Switch console is expected to remain a hot seller.

And given how well shares of software developers Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive have done this year -- they're all up between 50% and 90% -- it bodes well for Best Buy's gaming sales, too.

It will also be interesting to see whether or not the company thinks it will get an eclipse boost as well for the current quarter.

Best Buy's latest quarter ended in July, but it's possible that it posted healthy sales of sunglasses and filters in the past week ahead of Monday's solar eclipse. That could help results for the quarter that ends in October.

Best Buy was named by the American Astronomical Society and National Science Foundation a reputable retailer for safe eyewear to use to watch the eclipse.

And with Best Buy's stock doing as well as it has this year, it seems safe to say that Wall Street no longer believes that the company is being overshadowed by Amazon.