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Thomas Weisel Raises Estimates on Best Buy

Best Buy (BBY) posted second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations of 46 cents and kept its fiscal 2005 EPS estimate. Thomas Weisel raised its estimates.

Analyst Kelly Chase says Best Buy is seeing stellar results from its "customer-centricity" stores. During the second quarter, these stores posted comparable-store sales more than double the company's overall comp rate of 4.2% and a gross margin rate that was 50 basis points higher than the total company rate of 25.5%. She notes SG&A levels at these stores were running 107 basis points higher than the total company. Chase says Best Buy will be transitioning another 70 stores to customer centricity format during the third quarter. She thinks this new selling format is further distancing Best Buy from its peers. She raised her $2.91 fiscal 2005 (ending February) EPS estimate to $2.95 and her $3.38 fiscal 2006 forecast to $3.41.

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