The year is 1996, and Best Buy, an electronics retailer with a significant presence in the Midwest, is set to begin a major expansion in the Northeast and other parts of the US. An analyst at a midsized buy-side firm and his manager are discussing Best Buy's recent performance. How should they evaluate the company's investment potential when its cash flows and earnings trends have been inconsistent? In this case, students use data from financial reports to evaluate Best Buy from both a cash flow and an earnings perspective, and discover what each shows about the company's performance and potential.

Case id: 080111