Best Buy 3Q Profit Rises, Boosts Outlook

Best Buy Co., the nation's biggest consumer electronics retailer, said Tuesday its third-quarter profit jumped 52 percent, boosted by holiday shopping and sales of higher-ticket items such as flat-panel TVs. The results beat Wall Street expectations and the company boosted its outlook for the year. Its shares rose more than 2 percent in premarket trading.

Profit for the quarter ended Dec. 1 rose to $228 million, or 53 cents per share, from $150 million, or 31 cents per share in the prior-year period. Revenue rose 17 percent to $9.93 billion, from $8.47 billion last year. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted a profit of 41 cents per share on revenue of $9.44 billion. The earnings estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Same-store sales rose 6.7 percent, helped by higher average selling price and a calendar shift that added an extra week of holiday shopping to the quarter. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least fourteen months, is a key indicator of retail performance since it measures growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones. Results were helped by a shift toward higher-ticket items such as video-game consoles, notebook computers, flat-panel TVs and GPS devices. The company boosted its fiscal 2008 earnings outlook to between $3.10 and $3.20 per share, from a previous range of $3 to $3.15 per share. The company expects revenue of about $40 billion for the year.

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Likely due to the positive references to the stores fictional counterpart, Buy More, in the popular TV Show "Chuck".

I've found though, that Best Buy isn't always the 'best buy' on some things. At least that's the way it was when I lived in the States.