BUY OR SELL-Do rival closures make Best Buy a buy?

ATLANTA, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Electronics retail leader Best Buy Co BBY.N may be facing an easier competitive landscape in coming months as weaker rivals close stores, but some analysts believe the tough retailing climate will put pressure on the company and call for a long-term buy on the stock.

Rival Circuit City Stores CC.N started liquidating 155 stores this week while Tweeter, a smaller chain in Canton, Massachusetts, filed for bankruptcy protection and said it was having store-closing sales at 94 stores.

Best Buy shares have fallen 51 percent this year and have traded as low as $20 in 2008, levels last seen in 2003. Here are some perspectives:


Joseph Feldman, managing director, Telsey Advisory Group:

“From a long-term perspective, for a person that can buy and hold this stock for the next two, three years, I think it makes a lot of sense to be buying Best Buy especially at this price. With Circuit City having to liquidate some stores in a worst-case scenario, if it had to liquidate the entire chain and go away, that would be some pretty decent market share opportunity for Best Buy. Even in the current situation, it’s very good market share opportunity for Best Buy.”


Brady Lemos, an analyst with Morningstar:

“It’s difficult to recommend any retailer in this current environment because we’re not seeing any signs that things are going to turn around before the holiday season. But that said, we think a lot of negativity is already priced in to a lot of retailers, Best Buy included.

Circuit City is closing 155 stores, Tweeter is going to close stores. In the near term, that could hurt Best Buy, with all of these stores having liquidation sales.

Longer term, we think (the store closures) are certainly a positive” for Best Buy. (Editing by Bernard Orr)