Why JB Hi-Fi Limited shares soared 5% today

Credit: Peter Heath

Shares of electronics retail giant JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) shot higher this morning, surging as much as 5% to a high of $29.41 after its Chairman and CEO fronted investors at its Annual General Meeting.

For the 2016 financial year (FY16), which ended 30 June 2016, JB Hi-Fi reported 11.5% growth in net profit while earnings per share (EPS) grew the same amount to 153.8 cents per share.

Meanwhile, its dividend also increased by 10 cents to $1 per share off the back of total sales growth of 8.3%. Comparable sales growth, which excludes the impact of new store openings, were up an impressive 5.4%.

At today’s meeting, CEO Richard Murray said that momentum had continued in the early stages of FY17. During the first quarter, total sales grew 12.5%, while comparable sales were up 8.3%. Those were in line with expectations and Mr. Murray also confirmed the company’s target of around $4.25 billion in sales for the full-year.

The recent closure of Dick Smith stores is likely one of the reasons behind JB Hi-Fi’s strong growth, with Harvey Norman Holdings Limited (ASX: HVN) also a beneficiary. Harvey Norman’s shares have fallen 0.8% today, however.

JB Hi-Fi expects to open seven new stores by June 2017, while it also hopes to complete the acquisition of rival The Good Guys by 27 November, which would provide a significant boost to the retailer’s top line.

In regards to the integration planning for The Good Guys business, Murray said:

“We have commenced integration planning while remaining focused on Christmas trading. We are pleased with the progress made to date and as part of our integration planning we have considered the necessary resources to support the expanded group. Further to my appointment as Group CEO, Cameron Trainor, currently JB HI-FI Merchandising Director, will be appointed CEO of JB HI-FI and Michael Ford will continue as CEO of The Good Guys. I look forward to working closely with Cameron and Michael.”

Although JB Hi-FI’s shares have retreated from their all-time high levels – above $31 a share – investors do need to consider the potential risks associated with the major acquisition.

On one hand, the addition of The Good Guys to the JB Hi-Fi group will clearly expand JB Hi-Fi’s market share and allow it to achieve some synergies over time. However, the two businesses do maintain two completely different cultures, while major acquisitions can also prove a distraction for management.

JB Hi-Fi is a high-quality business, and one that has proven time and time again its ability to adapt to change. While it will no doubt appeal to some investors at the current price, the more risk-averse investor may want to consider other alternatives first.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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