Best Buy to cut costs and close stores - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Best Buy to cut costs and close stores

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Best Buy says it plans to close 50 U.S. big-box stores and open 100 small mobile locations in the U.S. in fiscal 2013 and cut $800 million in costs by fiscal 2015.

The news came as the biggest U.S. specialty electronics retailer posted a fiscal fourth-quarter loss partly due to restructuring charges.

Despite the loss, Best Buy's adjusted results for the quarter topped Wall Street's expectations.

But the company's full year revenue guidance fell slightly short of analysts' expectations, sending its stock down 6 percent.

With 1,450 locations nationwide and 2,900 globally, Best Buy is focusing on closing some of its hulking stores to concentrate on smaller Best Buy Mobile outlets because of two emerging trends.

Sales of TVs, digital cameras and videogame consoles have weakened, while sales of tablet computers, smartphones and e-readers have increased.

And with the rise of competition from Internet rivals like Amazon.com, shoppers aren't flocking to big-box stores like they used to. Best Buy is trying to avoid the fate of its former rival Circuit City, which went out of business in 2009. Best Buy lost $1.7 billion, or $4.89 per share, for the period ended March 3.

That compares with a profit of $651 million, or $1.62 per share, a year ago.

The Minneapolis-based company said its quarterly results included $2.6 billion in charges.

They were mostly related to its purchase of Carphone Warehouse Group PLC's interest in the Best Buy Mobile profit-sharing agreement and related costs, as well as an impairment charge tied to writing off Best Buy Europe goodwill and restructuring charges.

Taking these items out, adjusted earnings were $2.47 per share, above the $2.15 per share that analysts forecast.

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