Trade Update Best Buy (BBY): Closing Half of my Apr Put Fly For a Double, Will Let Other Half Ride

by Dan March 29, 2012 9:38 am • Commentary

Trade Update March 29th, 2012 at 9:45am:  BBY is down 6% this morning, following earnings that beat, but coupled with some strategic news about store closings and layoffs that investors are not warming too, although some what anticipated and presumably the reason for the stocks recent 10% plus rally; Buy the Rumor, Sell the News??

The APR 26/24/22 Put Fly that I bought yesterday for .32 is now worth .70 (stock ref 24.80), I am going to sell half and let the other half of the position ride, as I don’t want to get turned around once the conference call starts at 10:30am.

Volatility in April has obviously come in since yesterday’s close, and possibly a tad too much when you consider the company has a lot of explaining to do about their new strategic direction on their conf call.


Previous Post from Monday March 26th:  New Trade Below

BBY ($27.37) reports its Fiscal Q4 earnings Thursday March 29th before the open.

-The options market is implying about a 5.5% move vs the trailing 8 qtr average move of about 7.85%.   What’s interesting about the price performance over the last 8 qtrs, is that other than their 2 Q3 misses where the stock traded off by about 15% each time, the avg move over the other 6 qtrs in that 2 year period is about 5.3% (inline with the implied move this qtr).  

Ann Date Per Actual Est %Surp %Px Chg
12/13/11 Q3 12 0.47 0.509 -7.66% -15.46%
09/13/11 Q2 12 0.47 0.527 -10.82% -6.45%
06/14/11 Q1 12 0.35 0.331 5.74% 4.55%
03/24/11 Q4 11 1.97 1.844 7.38% -5.40%
12/14/10 Q3 11 0.54 0.602 -10.30% -14.82%
09/14/10 Q2 11 0.6 0.439 36.67% 6.00%
06/15/10 Q1 11 0.36 0.501 -28.14% -6.07%
03/25/10 Q4 10 1.82 1.792 1.56% 3.59%

Source: Bloomberg

Sentiment:  Wall Street analysts fairly mixed to Neutral on the stock with 7 Buys, 19 Holds and 2 Sells, with avg 12 month price target of about $28.38 (per Bloomberg)…..short interest isn’t exactly low at about 16% of the float.

Dividend Yield: Stock currently yields about 2.4%, On March 20th,Goldman Sachs re-initiated the stock with a Neutral rating and 12 month $28 price target.  After reading the note, it appears that GS analyst Matt Fassler (note below) might have been a bit more negative on his rating, but points to:

Potential for improved capital allocation

BBY operates with a payout ratio of just 19.7%. Given its challenged growth profile but solid cash flow, we believe it can sustain a higher payout. In fact, we model a 50% increase in BBY’s dividend.

Valuation/Balance Sheet: The real question for the stock is at 8x expected fiscal 2013 earnings, pretty cheap on a relative and historic P/E basis, is where is growth expected to come from?  Earnings are only expected to grow 9% and sales a paltry 1% in the coming year in what is turning out to be a brutal consumer electronics selling environment for everything that doesn’t have a i before it’s name.   Stock trades at a little more than 5x trailing 12 month sales, which depending on potential strategic initiatives, are in danger of going negative year over year.   The company’s balance sheet is ok, as long as this years down earnings don’t become a trend and worse than that fall off a cliff (see Circuity City circa 2007/08) and while they have ~$2.3 billion in cash, they also have about $2.3billion in outstanding debt.  Goldman’s Take on Valuation from their March 20th report:

Market skepticism reflected in modest valuation. BBY shares trade at the lowest 2012 P/E in our coverage, the lowest EV/EBITDA multiple (market cap of $1 billion-plus), and the highest FCF yield on 2012 forecasts.

Price Action/ Technicals:  The stock is off about 50bps today, one of very few stocks in the entire market that is down, the only thing i can find is the following post this morning from

Best Buy: Telsey Advisory Group expects BBY to miss Q4 ests (27.22 -0.29)
TAG expects BBY to report 4Q12 EPS of $2.09 vs. $1.98 last year, the consensus of $2.16, and the implied guidance of $2.06-2.36 on Thursday morning. They continue to believe that Best Buy has a compelling opportunity to grow sales of mobile phones, but are concerned this will not be enough to offset the overarching structural issues; $28-30 tgt.

After a torrid 16% run over the last 2 weeks, the stock has basically filled in the earnings gap from December and faces a bit of resistance as it approaches the $28 level.  The stock is trading above it’s 200 day moving average for the first time since mid December, and that was pretty brief.

[caption id="attachment_9996" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="1 YR BBY Chart from Bloomberg"][/caption]


The long term chart of BBY shows a slightly different picture, it has been in along term downtrend since it’s peak in 2006.

BBY All time Chart from Bloomberg


Will the “Death Rattle” be heard this year for BBY in the quarters to come?  The chart below demonstrates that these stocks basically traded in lock step with one another, while BBY usually demonstrated some relative out-performance.  I am not trying to be dramatic for the sake of being dramatic, Circuit City faced some very different challenges as it related to their business.

[caption id="attachment_9998" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="11 yr Circuit City vs BBY from Bloomberg"][/caption]



April vol is trading at about 47 while May and the further out months are less than 38. Puts are more expensive that calls within the same expirations:

MY VIEW:  As my friend Melissa Lee from CNBC likes to say, “BBY is merely AMZN’s showroom.”  This fact alone is one of the main reasons why I don’t see a future for their business model.  As GS mentions in the note below, online properties are offering too much transparency and the bricks and mortar stores just can’t compete on price.  This is why it will be hard for margins to ever go up again for the commoditized goods that BBY sells.

I wouldn’t be long this stock with your money long term, I am sure because of their decent cash flow and real estate you will hear the eventual rumblings of Private Equity involvement, but I can’t imagine and other retailer in their right mind would buy these buys…. But as you know with stocks as cheap as this take-over chatter will come around from time to time, it do frequently in CC and does often in RSH.

Over the next couple days I will look to fade this recent move, not exactly playing for a miss of this quarter, but looking at a few months or quarters and viewing the name as a structural short on any strength.


New Trade: BBY (26.88)

Bought the Apr 26/24/22 Put Fly for .32  

Bought 1 Apr 26 Put for .96

Sold 2 Apr 24 Puts for a total of .80 (.40 each)

Bought 1 Apr 22 Put for .16


Break-Even on Apr Expiration:  Profits btwn 25.68 and 24.00, make up to 1.68, profit trails off btwn 24 and 22.32, max gain at 24 of 1.68 (or 5.25 x your money) Losses of up to .32 btwn 25.68 and 26 and btwn 22 and 22.32, max loss of .32 above 26 and below 22



Goldman Sachs report:
BBY (Best Buy)