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Best Buy Tops 4Q Wall Street Profit Forecasts

RICHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — Best Buy's fourth-quarter revenue slipped in a holiday shopping season that has been rugged for almost all retailers and it offered a conservative outlook to start the year.

Shares were buoyed Thursday before the opening bell, however, after the electronics retailer declared a special dividend, a $1 billion share buyback and a 22 percent hike to its regular dividend.

For the period ended Jan. 30, Best Buy earned $479 million, or $1.40 per share. A year earlier the company earned $519 million, or $1.46 per share.

Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to $1.53 per share. That beat the $1.40 per share that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were looking for.

Revenue totaled $13.62 billion, a decline from last year's $14.2 billion, and short of the $13.67 billion that Zacks' analysts expected.

For the full year, the chain reported an adjusted profit of $2.78 per share on revenue of $39.53 billion.

Best Buy Co. anticipates first-quarter adjusted profit in a range of 31 to 35 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet predict a profit of 39 cents per share.

Shares rose by 55 cents, less than 2 percent, in premarket trading.

Best Buy is raising its quarterly dividend to 28 cents per share, while the special dividend will be 45 cents per share. The quarterly dividend and special dividend will be paid on April 7 to shareholders of record on March 17. The $1 billion in stock buybacks are expected to be completed over the next two years.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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