Best Buy Profit Gets a Boost From TV Sales

Holiday Shopping
Nam Y. Huh/AP

By Sruthi Ramakrishnan

Best Buy (BBY), the largest U.S. consumer electronics chain, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by improved sales of higher-margin products such as large-screen TVs and mobile phones during the holiday shopping season.

The company's shares rose 4.6 percent at $40.40 in premarket trading, after Best Buy said it would buy back $1 billion of shares over the next three years.

Best Buy's total same-store sales increased 2 percent during the fourth quarter, slightly better than the 1.9 percent rise estimated by analysts polled by research firm Consensus Metrix.

%VIRTUAL-WSSCourseInline-884%U.S. same-store sales rose 2.8 percent -- the second straight quarter of growth after three quarters of decline.

Net income attributable to Best Buy shareholders jumped to $519 million, or $1.46 a share, in the quarter ended Jan. 31 from $293 million, or 83 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.48 a share from continuing operations.

Total revenue rose about 1 percent to $14.21 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.35 a share on revenue of $14.35 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Results in the quarter exclude Best Buy's China business, which the company said in December it would sell to real estate firm Zhejiang Jiayuan Group in order to focus on its North American operations.

The company said it completed the sale of the business on Feb. 13.

Best Buy announced a special dividend of about $180 million, or 51 cents a share, related to proceeds from settlements of a lawsuit on price fixing of TFT-LCD panels.