BBY: COF Credit Sale Hardly Bolsters Confidence In BBY

Takeaway: The early termination and sale of BBY's credit card portfolio at such a fire-sale price hardly bolsters confidence in its long-term outlook.

Here’s something that seemingly flew under radar screens, but Capital One Financial (COF) sold its Best Buy credit card portfolio to Citi yesterday. That’s not unusual, as similar credit transactions happen all the time. But what is very unusual is that the agreement was terminated early and the portfolio sold at book value – usually early terminations come along with a premium for the assets. That wasn’t the case here. This one happened at what our Financials Analyst Josh Steiner called a ‘get out of Dodge’ price. The company chalked it up to ‘strategic differences’, but our sense is that it simply does not want to be linked to a company that faces such severe secular headwinds like BBY.   

 

This is something to keep in mind -- particularly in light of two sell side upgrades over the past 24-hours.