Uncategorized

Conservative balance sheet underpins positive view on credit

| June 12, 2020

This document is intended for institutional investors and is not subject to all of the independence and disclosure standards applicable to debt research reports prepared for retail investors.

BBY has historically maintained a very conservative balance sheet, underscored by a net cash position and strong credit metrics relative to other retail peers. Currently, BBY 4.45% 10/1/28 bonds are trading over 20 bp (g-spread) behind similar maturity issues from both Autozone and O’Reilly Automotive, providing investors an opportunity for attractive yield pick up.

BBY ended the most recent quarter with net cash of $1.4 billion (excluding leases). This compares very favorably to both Autozone Inc. (AZO -Baa1/BBB/BBB) and O’Reilly Automotive Inc. (ORLY – Baa1/BBB), which are both in net debt positions of $2.4 billion and $4.2 billion, respectively. BBY’s debt/EBITDA (ex-leases) is currently less than a turn at 0.7x, comparing to 1.1x at AZO and 1.8x at ORLY. On a lease adjusted basis, BBY’s estimated leverage is closer to 1.5x versus 2.6x at both AZO and ORLY.

Exhibit 1. BBB/BBB+ Retail Space – 7-10 year Curve 

Source: Bloomberg TRACE; Amherst Pierpont Securities

Fiscal 1Q Results 

While BBY’s Enterprise SSS were down 5.3% in fiscal 1Q due the pandemic, we note that it came in much better than street estimates looking for SSS to be down 10.8%. BBY saw a dramatic pick up in domestic online SSS for the quarter, with growth of 155%. Management noted that they were able to retain 81% of sales, despite a single store being open for customer traffic for half of the quarter. BBY moved all stores to a curbside only model on 3/22/20 while halting in-home installation, repair and consultation services. While BBY’s decline in SSS was worse that AZO and ORLY, which posted SSS declines of -1% and -1.9%, respectively, we note that both AZO and ORLY were deemed “essential” and  stores remained open (although had reduced operating hours).  Furthermore, BBY’s quarter ended 5/2/20, capturing 7+ weeks of stay at home orders in most states.  ORLY’s quarter ended roughly a month earlier than BBY, with management noting that SSS for the four week period ending the second week in April down 13%.

Exhibit 2. BBY Cash vs. Debt

Source: BBY Company Report; Amherst Pierpont Securities

As stores reopened, BBY retained 95% of revenues in the first two weeks of May. Despite the dip in sales, gross margin remained flat to the year-ago period at 23%. As of 5/21/20, BBY is back in homes providing higher margin services to 80% of US zip codes, which bodes well for recouping some of the lost top line while improving margins.  Additionally, BBY is set to re-open more than 800 locations on 6/15/20 (~65%+ of its store base).  The company will continue to offer curbside pick-up and in-store consultations for customers that prefer to shop that way.  

Further Enhancing Liquidity

Despite having already strong liquidity as the company remains FCF positive ($2.7 billion of free cash flow generated on a LTM basis) in addition to its large cash position, BBY took additional steps in the quarter to improve liquidity.  While the company continues to pay a dividend, management has temporarily halted share repurchases. The share repurchase pause (depending on how long it lasts) could keep roughly $1 billion from going out the door on an annual basis.  Additionally, BBY drew down its full $1.25 billion revolver on 3/19/20, but did not tap the debt market like most of its peers. The company also cut its full year capex spend from $800-$900 million to $650-$750 million, noting it will continue to invest in high value strategic areas but will be deferring spend on areas such as store remodels.

The Right Strategy 

Despite the consumer electronics business being highly promotional and competition from the likes of Amazon (AMZN A3 (p)/AA-/A+ (p)), Walmart (WMT Aa2/AA/AA) and Target Corp. (TGT – A2/A/A-), BBY has seemed to find the right strategy to resonate with customers.  BBY has become a trusted retailer for consumer electronics vendors including Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Sony.  BBY’s vision to properly utilize square footage to showcase products that consumers typically like to test prior to purchase coupled with investments in its staff and a strong and growing services business has helped differentiate BBY from its competition.  BBY is also forging a path in healthcare services for aging seniors, with its acquisitions of GreatCall and Critical Signal Technologies (CST).  These devices and services not only help seniors live longer in their homes, but also help to reduce health care costs for their customers.  Furthermore, they are a great complement to BBY’s Geek Squad and In-Home Advisors services as more customers are demanding “smarter” homes.

admin
jkillian@apsec.com
john.killian@santander.us 1 (646) 776-7714

This material is intended only for institutional investors and does not carry all of the independence and disclosure standards of retail debt research reports. In the preparation of this material, the author may have consulted or otherwise discussed the matters referenced herein with one or more of SCM’s trading desks, any of which may have accumulated or otherwise taken a position, long or short, in any of the financial instruments discussed in or related to this material. Further, SCM may act as a market maker or principal dealer and may have proprietary interests that differ or conflict with the recipient hereof, in connection with any financial instrument discussed in or related to this material.

This message, including any attachments or links contained herein, is subject to important disclaimers, conditions, and disclosures regarding Electronic Communications, which you can find at https://portfolio-strategy.apsec.com/sancap-disclaimers-and-disclosures.

Important Disclaimers

Copyright © 2024 Santander US Capital Markets LLC and its affiliates (“SCM”). All rights reserved. SCM is a member of FINRA and SIPC. This material is intended for limited distribution to institutions only and is not publicly available. Any unauthorized use or disclosure is prohibited.

In making this material available, SCM (i) is not providing any advice to the recipient, including, without limitation, any advice as to investment, legal, accounting, tax and financial matters, (ii) is not acting as an advisor or fiduciary in respect of the recipient, (iii) is not making any predictions or projections and (iv) intends that any recipient to which SCM has provided this material is an “institutional investor” (as defined under applicable law and regulation, including FINRA Rule 4512 and that this material will not be disseminated, in whole or part, to any third party by the recipient.

The author of this material is an economist, desk strategist or trader. In the preparation of this material, the author may have consulted or otherwise discussed the matters referenced herein with one or more of SCM’s trading desks, any of which may have accumulated or otherwise taken a position, long or short, in any of the financial instruments discussed in or related to this material. Further, SCM or any of its affiliates may act as a market maker or principal dealer and may have proprietary interests that differ or conflict with the recipient hereof, in connection with any financial instrument discussed in or related to this material.

This material (i) has been prepared for information purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities, related investments or other financial instruments, (ii) is neither research, a “research report” as commonly understood under the securities laws and regulations promulgated thereunder nor the product of a research department, (iii) or parts thereof may have been obtained from various sources, the reliability of which has not been verified and cannot be guaranteed by SCM, (iv) should not be reproduced or disclosed to any other person, without SCM’s prior consent and (v) is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which its distribution would be prohibited.

In connection with this material, SCM (i) makes no representation or warranties as to the appropriateness or reliance for use in any transaction or as to the permissibility or legality of any financial instrument in any jurisdiction, (ii) believes the information in this material to be reliable, has not independently verified such information and makes no representation, express or implied, with regard to the accuracy or completeness of such information, (iii) accepts no responsibility or liability as to any reliance placed, or investment decision made, on the basis of such information by the recipient and (iv) does not undertake, and disclaims any duty to undertake, to update or to revise the information contained in this material.

Unless otherwise stated, the views, opinions, forecasts, valuations, or estimates contained in this material are those solely of the author, as of the date of publication of this material, and are subject to change without notice. The recipient of this material should make an independent evaluation of this information and make such other investigations as the recipient considers necessary (including obtaining independent financial advice), before transacting in any financial market or instrument discussed in or related to this material.

The Library

Search Articles