The retailer’s stock is up 5% pre-market after it disclosed that sales in the nine weeks ending January 5 fell just 0.4% vs the same period last year to $12.8B. Revenues at stores open at least a year were down 1.4% beating forecasts for a 2% drop, and all of the decline came from overseas. Domestic store sales were flat with growth in mobile phones, tablets and eReaders, and appliances offsetting declines in entertainment, TV sets and computers. Meanwhile, revenues at Best Buy’s online operation were up 10% to $1.1B. “Our holiday selling strategy, backed by a compelling assortment, increased employee training and price match policy, allowed us to deliver these results,” CEO Hubert Joly says. Based on what the company calls its “solid performance” over the holidays, Best Buy reiterated its cash flow forecast for its fiscal year. But just as important for investors, the results should relieve fears that a lousy holiday sales period might derail company founder Richard Schulze’s effort to buy the struggling electronics and home entertainment chain.
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