updated 6/14/2005 9:51:04 AM ET 2005-06-14T13:51:04

Electronics retailer Best Buy Inc. on Tuesday reported a sharply better-than-expected profit for the first quarter as a larger profit margin and improved same-store sales boosted its bottom line.

The company also raised its projection for fiscal 2006 earnings by 15 cents per share. In premarket activity, Best Buy shares rose $3.58, or 6.1 percent, to $62.70.

Quarterly net income jumped to $170 million, or 51 cents per share, from $92 million, or 28 cents, in the year-ago period. On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for earnings of 30 cents per share.

Revenue totaled $6.12 billion, up 12 percent from $5.48 billion a year earlier and well ahead of the $5.98 billion in sales targeted by Wall Street analysts. Sales at stores open at least a year advanced 4.4 percent, the company said.

At U.S. Best Buy stores, same-store sales were up 4.5 percent, with total revenue reaching $5.5 billion, while international locations showed a same-store sales increase of 3 percent.

The company said customers spent more on portable media players, digital televisions, video games, digital cameras and notebook computers last quarter. Its gross profit margin swelled to 25.5 percent of sales from 23.9 percent last year.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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