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Best Buy Raises Earnings Estimate

August 7, 2003

RICHFIELD, Minn. (AP) _ Best Buy Co. Inc. on Thursday raised its earnings estimate for the second quarter and fiscal 2004, citing strong sales and cost controls.

The consumer electronics retailer’s shares surged more than 10 percent by midday.

Best Buy now expects earnings to range from 37 to 42 cents a share in the three months ending Aug. 30. That is 10 cents higher than its previous estimate and beats the consensus estimate of 30 cents by analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

The Richfield-based retailer, which sells consumer electronics, personal computers, entertainment software and appliances, reported earnings from continuing operations of $79 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2002

``Our employees are driving this excellent performance through a number of initiatives to limit gross profit drains from markdowns, product returns and exchanges while delivering on cost-savings programs,″ said Darren Jackson, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Jackson also said consumers continue to migrate to higher-profit products, such as digital TVs.

``We had not expected our financial performance to improve significantly until the second half of the fiscal year, and are pleased that we are seeing it pick up earlier,″ he said.

For the full fiscal year, Best Buy also raised its earnings forecast by 10 cents to a range of $2.27 to $2.32 per share, compared to analysts’ consensus of $2.22 per share. Best Buy earned $1.91 per share from continuing operations in fiscal 2003.

Best Buy expects to announce its second-quarter sales on Sept. 4, 2003, and its second-quarter earnings on Sept. 17.

On the New York Stock Exchange, Best Buy shares were up $5.81 to close at $46.49.

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On the Net:

Best Buy Co. Inc.: http://www.BestBuy.com

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