Market Overview

Best Buy Shares Higher After Jefferies Gives 7 Reasons to Own

Shares of Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) surged Wednesday after analysts at Jefferies upgraded the company to a Buy rating and raised their price target on the stock to $24 from $13. In the note, Jefferies gives investors seven reasons to own the stock.

Jefferies' seven reasons:

  • 1. Management has expertise in turnarounds.
  • 2. Company can cut costs and plans to do so.
  • 3. Strong upside to EPS numbers, particularly in Q4.
  • 4. Expectations are low for the first half the year.
  • 5. Company is working on improving its multi-channel experience.
  • 6. Sale of Europe and China operations could bring in $600-900 million.
  • 7. Investor sentiment could propel Best Buy's multiple.

Over the last three months, Best Buy has staged an impressive rally, and shares are up well over 50%. Hopes for the future, along with a decent fourth-quarter earnings report have sent shares higher. Yet, there are still reasons for investors to be skeptical.

For example, Hubert Joly's (the current CEO of Best Buy) touted turnaround experience comes from his time at Carslon and Vivendi -- he has no retail experience. Cost cutting and asset sales might generate cash, but they do nothing to fix Best Buy's fundamental problems.

Like its former competitor Circuit City, Best Buy sells products that consumers are more than happy to buy online. Products that consumers still want to buy in-person, like cellphones and Macbooks, have their own dedicated stores. Like Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft is currently setting up its own stores around the country, and there is talk Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) might do the same.

RadioShack (NYSE: RSH) has had similar problems, but unlike Best Buy, it doesn't have humongous big-box stores. Best Buy's stores, which were once useful for stocking an assortment of music, movies and video games are increasingly a hinderance as consumers increasingly opt for digital downloads over physical copies.

That leaves the Best Buy bull case resting on investor sentiment, low expectations and multiple expansion. While it's certainly possible Best Buy shares could continue to run for some time, at some point the rally will end if shoppers don't return to the stores.

Like last year's impressive fourth-quarter rally in shares of BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY), Best Buy's move higher might soon run into a wall of reality.

Posted-In: Analyst Color News Intraday Update Analyst Ratings Movers Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

 

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