Restructuring, poor sales hurt Best Buy profits

Best Buy Co.'s shares were fluctuating in heavy trading Thursday after the giant electronics retailer reported a dip in fourth-quarter sales and profits, even while it beat earnings estimates. The Richfield-based company said its profits fell to $651 million, or $1.62 per share, for the three-month period ended Feb. 26 - that included a $222 million charge related to a restructuring of its international business, with store closings in China. Earnings for the fourth quarter last year were $779 million, or $1.82 per share. Without the charge, earnings in the most recent quarter would have been $1.98 per share. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.85 per share on sales of $16.3 billion. Such estimates typically exclude one-time charges. Best Buy reported fourth-quarter sales of $16.26 billion, down less than 2 percent from $16.55 billion a year earlier. Same-store sales, a key retail metric, dropped 4.6percent.

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