Best Buy Earnings Beat; Wal-Mart Gets Smart (Sort of); Home Sweet Pre-Existing Home;

Surprise surprise…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Score one for Best Buy which just posted its third quarter earnings much to the surprise and delight of everyone – well, except for Amazon. But we’ll get to that soon. The electronics retailer pulled in some nice earnings all thanks to higher-definition televisions – a perennial fave. Store sales were up over 2% which means people aren’t necessarily flocking to Amazon after browsing in Best Buy stores. Earnings for the retailer came in at $.32 per share and $107 million. Estimates were pegged at $.25 per share. A year ago Best Buy only raked in $54 million and $.16 per share. Revenue came in at $9.38 billion. Not much of a change from last year, but still, no loss. Naturally, all the good fuss caused shares of the stock to go up as well. How convenient. But to be fair, it was all part of Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly’s master plan to turn around the company. The surprisingly good numbers came at the expense of lots of cost-cutting, including jobs. For his second act, Joly has big plans to partner up with other companies like  “it” company, GoPro.

The jig is up…

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/

In the market for a $90 Playstation4? Good luck on that one. Wal-Mart has (finally?) caught up to some crafty internet scammers who industriously, albeit feloniously, created fake ads to present to Wal-Mart employees in order to capitalize on its price-match guarantee. But after updating, clarifying and re-vamping its policy, scammers are going to have a much harder time securing those “deals” especially for all those Xboxes and PS4s. Wal-Mart (very) recently posted this on its website: “We’ve updated our policy to clarify that we will match prices from and 30 major online retailers, but we won’t honor prices from marketplace vendors, third-party sellers, auction sites, or sites requiring memberships.” And at the end of the day, the Store Manager gets the final word. Happy Holidays!

House party…

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/

Image courtesy of ddpavumba/

More good news about the economy. I know you can hardly stand the excitement as the National Association of Realtors announced that existing home sales rose 1.5% in October. While that may seem like a relatively small number its actually huge on so many levels. For one, the 1.5% rise is the fastest pace in over a year. It also means that 5.26 million homes were sold. A big shout out goes to low interest rates. It also  wouldn’t be right if we didn’t mention the merits of a strengthening job market. Because, hey, if you want to buy a house, a job is good thing to have to help pay the mortgage, no? Foreclosures and short sales aka “distressed sales” even dropped to 9% of the total versus the 14% of the total a year ago. Good news for the economy. Not so much for you, that is, if you were in the market for a discounted home that went for 15% below market value. It’s a give and take, my friend. The median price for existing homes is $208,300 which is actually a 5.5% increase over last year’s median price at this time. And wouldn’t you know it, those supremely intelligent analysts predicted a decline instead. Ha. Thinking of something more upscale? Homes that sold for above the magical million dollar mark jumped 16% from a year ago.

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