Best Buy gives co-founder more time for buyout bid

NEW YORK – Best Buy shares fell on Friday after the struggling electronics retailer said it extended the window for co-founder Richard Schulze to make a buyout bid until after the holiday season.

Shares fell $2.07, or 14.6 percent, to close at $12.05 Friday.

That erased most of the gains made Thursday when Best Buy shares jumped 16 percent on a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Schulze would make a bid by the end of the week. The report cited unidentified sources.

But on Friday, Best Buy said Schulze can make his offer between Feb. 1, 2013 and Feb. 28, 2013. The original proposal deadline was this Sunday, 60 days after the due diligence period started.

The Minneapolis company said the extension is in the best interest of shareholders and gives Schulze and his investor partners time to review Best Buy’s full-year financial results.

Citi Investment Research analyst Kate McShane, who has a “Neutral” rating on Best Buy, said the probability of a deal appears “slim.”

“We believe today’s news shows that Mr. Schulze may be having difficulty finding financial backing from private equity firms,” she wrote in a note to investors.

A spokesman for Schulze declined to comment.

Stocks slide on adjusted earnings forecast for Apple

NEW YORK – Apple, the most valuable company in the U.S., slumped Friday, helping to drag down the stock market. A lack of progress in federal budget talks also discouraged investors.

Apple’s stock dropped 4 after the launch of the iPhone 5 in Beijing failed to draw the long lines of customers that showed up for previous versions of the iPhone, according to news reports. Analysts at UBS cut their earnings estimates and price target for Apple, which lost $19.90 to close at $509.79.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 5.87 points to close at 1,413.58, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite sank 20.83 points to 2,971.33. Apple is the biggest stock in both indexes.

The Dow, which doesn’t include Apple, fell 35.71 points to 13,135.01. All three stock-market measures ended the week with a loss.

Housing woes worsen in Spain; no recovery in sight

MADRID – Spain’s ailing property market showed little sign of recovery Friday, with the latest figures showing house prices were down some 15 percent in the third quarter.

The collapse in the country’s real estate market in 2008 sparked Spain’s financial crisis as banks and homeowners were trapped with toxic loans and property they could not sell on. Public debt levels then rose to worrying levels as the government rushed to prop up the ailing lenders.

The Housing Price Index released Friday detailed how Spanish house prices continue to tumble due to a squeeze on credit, stalled demand and massive oversupply.

Spain is now battling to emerge from its second recession in three years, with unemployment soaring to over 25 percent.

— From news service reports