Best Buy is sinking after its earnings forecast was weaker than expected

Best buyGeorge Frey/GettyAn employee checks computer inventory that is part of a ‘Black Friday’ sale at a Best Buy on November 24, 2016 in Orem, Utah.

Best Buy on Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings that were better than analysts had projected, but projections for the first quarter that were not. Its shares fell by as much as 9% in premarket trading.

The electronics retailer said it saw first-quarter adjusted earnings per share in a range of $US0.35-$US0.40, short of the estimate for $US0.49 according to Bloomberg. It also forecast a drop in same-store sales — at locations open for at least one year.

Earnings beat for a 13th straight quarter, at $US1.95 versus $US1.67 expected. Revenue fell slightly short of expectations, at $US13.5 billion ($US13.6 billion expected.)

“Our revenue was hindered by unprecedented product availability constraints across multiple vendors and categories, only some of which were anticipated,” said CEO Hubert Joly in the earnings statement. “Additionally, there was considerably weaker-than-expected demand in the gaming category.”

Same-store sales of mobile devices fell 4.4%. Other consumer-electronics and appliance sales increased.

Best Buy also announced that it was increasing its quarterly dividend by 21% to $US0.34 a share, and starting a $US3 billion share buyback program that will be completed over the next two years. Its stock jumped 36% in the year through Tuesday’s market close.

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