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The Most Difficult Climate We've Ever Seen, He Says

By Peter York, Published: November 12th, 2008 10:16 AM CST

Best Buy (BBY)'s CEO Brad Anderson single handedly sank the U.S. stock market Wednesday morning with some pretty strong words about the state of the U.S. economy: "Since mid-September, rapid, seismic changes in consumer behavior have created the most difficult climate we've ever seen.  Best Buy simply can't adjust fast enough to maintain our earnings momentum for this year."

Best Buy cut its earnings outlook for the year to $2.60.  Analysts were expecting $3.06 on the year.

When a 15% earnings outlook cut for a single retail company drops the entire market 3% after several bad market days, you know times are tough.  The market is scared and does not know who or what to look to for help.  More than a crisis in capital, this is a crisis in confidence, where negative words scare investors into selling.

Best Buy's Brad Anderson probably knew he would have a strong affect on the market.  But he probably welcomed it.  If his stock was going to drop, why not take the entire market with him?  So he speaks of "seismic" difficult events while dropping his company's earnings outlook by only 15%.  To put that into perspective, you would have to note that Best Buy stock has already fallen about 60% this year.  Why wouldn't he drop expectations when his share price has been battered.  Might as well.  And if the whole market wants to follow,it's good for Best Buy's comparative valuation.  So be it.  Every man for himself.

Related: BBY

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