updated 4/4/2007 8:40:50 AM ET 2007-04-04T12:40:50

Best Buy Co. Inc.’s fourth-quarter earnings rose 18.5 percent as it benefited from a combination of strong television sales, installation services, and a quarter that was a week longer than last year.

The nation’s biggest consumer electronics chain said on Wednesday that it earned $763 million, or $1.55 per share, during the quarter that ended March 3, up from $644 million, or $1.29 per share, in the three months ended Feb. 25, 2006.

Revenue rose 21 percent to $12.9 billion from $10.69 billion a year ago.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of $1.52 per share on revenue of $12.67 billion.

Best Buy’s comparable-store sales gain — a key retail barometer — was 5.9 percent, driven mostly by a strong increase at stores outside the U.S. Sales grew 4.8 percent at U.S. stores open at least 14 months, down from 7.4 percent growth during last year’s fourth quarter.

Best Buy has already made moves into China, and on Wednesday it said it might begin tests in Mexico and Turkey.

Best Buy said it expects to earn $3.10 to $3.25 per share during the current fiscal year on revenue of about $39 billion, which would be an increase of 9 percent. Analysts were expecting earnings of $3.18 per share on revenue of $39.8 billion.

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