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Best Buy Is Apple Inc.'s 'Biggest Fan,' Says Brian Sozzi

Louis Bedigian

Apple Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AAPL) next iPhone 6 is likely about to be unveiled, and it could have a major impact on Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY).

Investors may not immediately notice the connection. Sure, Best Buy is a major electronics retailer, but the company has been going through hard times. So, could one new product really help the retailer thrive?

Brian Sozzi, CEO & chief equities analyst of Belus Capital Advisors, is confident that the answer is yes.

What Sozzi Says

Sozzi wrote about his expectations in a piece for TheStreet.

"Among the millions of Apple fans eagerly awaiting today's new-product announcement, none may be bigger than the electronics retailer Best Buy," he wrote. "That's because every time Apple unveils new products or updates, Best Buy's financial results -- and its stock -- get a nice pop."

Sozzi noted that Best Buy has downplayed its Apple-related success while simultaneously hyping Samsung (OTC: SSNLF), Apple's chief competitor.

He said that after Best Buy's "ice-bucket forecast on the sales and profit potential from new Apple products as the holiday season nears," the stock fell 2.4 percent on August 26. "But Best Buy shares have rallied 7.1% since then, for one likely reason: The company historically has prospered following Apple product releases, thus rendering management's cautionary comments as irrelevant as a Blackberry smartphone," Sozzi added.

Related Link: Everything You Need To Know Before Apple Inc.'s Big iPhone 6 Event

Big Sales

Best Buy frequently highlights Apple iDevices and Mac computers in its weekly ad. The retailer recently sold the 13-inch MacBook Air for $799 -- an impressive $200 off the standard selling price.

This is all part of Best Buy's mission to drive traffic into the store. It may also be part of Apple's plan to become more competitive with Windows-based manufacturers.

Thus far, this strategy seems to be working. After several declines in 2013, Mac sales rebounded during the December quarter, and iPhone sales have continued to set new records.

Sozzi also noted that Best Buy's "computing and mobile phones segment" performed well over the last three years. The segment's third-quarter performance coincided with the release of new iPhones.

"Last year, Best Buy's computing and mobile phones same-store sales increased 6.7% (iPhone 5c/5s released) in the third-quarter, following gains of 0.9% and 8.8% in the third-quarter of 2012 (iPhone 5 released) and 2011 (iPhone 4s released), respectively," Sozzi says.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

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