Best Buy, Circuit City report strong sales

/ Source: The Associated Press

The nation's two biggest consumer electronics retailers, Best Buy and Circuit City, reported strong December sales on Friday, a bright spot in a month that was weak for many other retailers.

Best Buy Co., the nation's largest consumer electronics retailer, said sales for December rose 7 percent at stores open at least 14 months, better than it had expected. It said the gain came because its employees increased the number of customers who bought products during store visits.

Rival Circuit City Stores Inc. said sales grew 4.2 percent for the month at its stores open at least a year. Such measures, called same-store or comparable-store sales, are key retail indicators.

Best Buy said its overall December revenue grew 15 percent to $6.6 billion. Circuit City said total sales grew 5.9 percent to $2.1 billion.

On Thursday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. both reported strong electronics sales during December.

Best Buy said it expects to earn $2.70 to $2.80 per share for the full year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting $2.75 per share.

Best Buy said its same-store sales gain for the full year would be about 5 percent. Circuit City said it expects domestic same-store sales to grow 7 percent to 8 percent, up from previous guidance of 6 percent to 7 percent.