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Best Buy Posts $10 Million Net Loss as Store Sales Decline

Nov. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Best Buy Co., the world’s largest consumer-electronics retailer, reported a $10 million loss for its fiscal third quarter after weaker-than-expected sales by established stores.

The net loss in the three months ended Nov. 3 was 3 cents a share, compared with net income of $156 million, or 42 cents, a year earlier, the Richfield, Minnesota-based retailer said today in a statement. Excluding some items, profit was 3 cents a share. Analysts projected 12 cents, the average of 16 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

Chief Executive Officer Hubert Joly, who took over in September, is increasing employee training to improve customer service and plans to work with vendors on exclusive products as Best Buy customers defect to Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Same-store sales fell 4.3 percent, more than the 3.3 percent drop estimated by analysts in a Retail Metrics survey. Sales by that measure have slid in nine of the past 10 quarters.

It’s “too early to expect results from new initiatives,” Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, wrote in a note Nov. 15. He rates the shares underperform, the equivalent of a sell. “Best Buy has been unable to stem sustained comp declines and eroding margins.”

Best Buy fell 3.3 percent to $13.30 at 8:05 a.m. in New York. The shares tumbled 41 percent this year through yesterday.

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