Best Buy's sales surprise spikes stock


Best Buy, the No. 1 U.S. electronics retailer, reported an unexpected rise in first-quarter comparable sales on Thursday, helped by demand for gaming and mobile products.

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The company also said it expects second-quarter comparable sales to grow 1.5-2.5 percent. Shares of the retailer jumped 11.3 percent in premarket trading.

Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy said sales at stores open for more than a year rose 1.6 percent, even as the average analysts' estimate was for a 1.5 percent decline, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

Chief Executive Hubert Joly said the unexpected jump in sales also benefited from the arrival of delayed federal tax refund checks.

Best Buy had warned in March that first-quarter same-store sales would decline about 1-2 percent, as electronics retailers continue to fight competition from online stores.

"We expect Best Buy to continue to perform at a high level across multiple categories, with appliances likely to be one of the bright spots given market dynamics," Moody's retail analyst Charlie O'Shea wrote in a note.

Net income fell to $188 million, or 60 cents a share, in the three months ended April 29, from $229 million, or 70 cents per share a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected earnings of 40 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue climbed 1 percent to $8.53 billion, beating the average analysts' estimate for $8.28 billion.

(Reporting by Richa Naidu; Editing by Bernadette Baum)