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Best Buy 4th quarter profit rises

Thu, 03/25/2010 - 4:30am
The Associated Press

Better sales of notebook computers and flat-panel TVs helped Best Buy's fourth-quarter earnings rise 37 percent, the electronics retailer said Thursday.

The news sent shares up nearly 8 percent in premarket trading.

Profit for the three months ended Feb. 27 rose to $779 million, or $1.82 per share, from $570 million, or $1.35 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, predicted a profit of $1.79 per share.

Revenue increased 12 percent to $16.55 billion. Higher electronics sales were partly offset by lower selling prices. Analysts predicted revenue of $16.08 billion.

Sales in stores open at least a year rose 7 percent during the key holiday quarter. The measure is important for retailers because it measures growth at existing stores rather than from newly opened ones.

The company says it expects a profit of $3.45 to $3.60 per share in the fiscal year ending in February 2011. That is better than the $3.37 analysts predict.

Best Buy has gained market share since rival Circuit City liquidated last year, but competition with discounters and online retailers remains tough.

For the year, profit rose 35 percent to $1.32 billion, or $3.10 per share. Revenue rose 10 percent to $49.69 billion.

Shares rose $3.18, or 7.7 percent, to $44.36 during premarket trading. The stock has traded between $31.25 and $45.55 during the past year.

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