MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Best Buy returned to a profit in the fourth quarter and topped Wall Street expectations as it cut costs to offset declining sales.
The specialty electronics retailer says it gained market share during the quarter and shares jumped 7 percent in morning trading Thursday.
Best Buy has been dealing with increased competition from online stores, notably Amazon.com, and discounters like Wal-Mart. Under CEO Hubert Joly, the company has tried to turn around results, revamping merchandise, training employees and cutting costs.
That hasn't been enough to reverse a sales decline. Revenue in stores open at least 14 months, a key retail metric, fell 1.2 percent in the U.S. during the quarter, which includes the key holiday season. November and December can account for up to 40 percent of total sales for retailers.
But it was better than the 3.2 percent decline in revenue the entire consumer electronics industry faced, according to NPD data Joly cited.
"The fourth quarter was an environment of declining retail traffic, intense promotion, fewer holiday shopping days and severe weather," Joly said in a statement. "In the face of these unusual circumstances, our strategy to be price competitive and provide an improved customer experience resulted in market share gains in a weaker-than-expected consumer electronics market."
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