Best Buy profit up 37% in Q4

New York City Best Buy reported its fourth-quarter earnings rose 37% due in part to better sales of notebook computers and flat-panel TVs.

Revenue increased 12% to $16.55 billion. Analysts predicted revenue of $16.08 billion.

Higher sales of notebook computers, flat-screen TVs and cell phones were partly offset by lower selling prices. Sales of music and movies fell.

Sales in stores open at least 14 months rose 7% during the key holiday quarter.

Best Buy has gained market share since rival Circuit City liquidated last year, but competition with discounters and online retailers remains tough.

The company said it believes it took a bigger piece of the market for flat-panel TVs, notebook computers, cell phones and digital imaging during the quarter.

For the year, profit rose 35% to $1.32 billion. Revenue rose 10% to $49.69 billion.

Best Buy expects to open 50 to 55 new large-format locations during the year and 75 to 100 small-format stores, mainly standalone stores selling mobile devices in the United States. It also plans to open 10 to 15 Five Star stores in China.

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