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Good News from Best Buy

Given all the gloom and doom about the holiday shopping season, Best Buy's third quarter numbers come as a pleasant surprise.

Best Buy Co., the nation's biggest consumer electronics retailer, said Tuesday its third-quarter profit jumped 52 percent, boosted by holiday shopping and sales of higher-ticket items such as flat-panel TVs.

The results beat Wall Street expectations and the company boosted its outlook for the year.

Its shares rose more than 2 percent in premarket trading.

Profit for the quarter ended Dec. 1 rose to $228 million, or 53 cents per share, from $150 million, or 31 cents per share in the prior-year period.

Revenue rose 17 percent to $9.93 billion, from $8.47 billion last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted a profit of 41 cents per share on revenue of $9.44 billion. The earnings estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Same-store sales rose 6.7 percent, helped by higher average selling price and a calendar shift that added an extra week of holiday shopping to the quarter. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least fourteen months, is a key indicator of retail performance since it measures growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.

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