AMARILLO, TX-Hastings Entertainment Inc.’s first quarter performance “pleased” its chairman and CEO John Marmaduke, he said on release of the financials. The chain’s net income, revenue and same-store sales were all up, encouraging executives to reaffirm the company’s yearly guidance.

During the first quarter, Hastings posted net income of $1.9 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of approximately $800,000, or six cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal year 2005. The chain expects to achieve net income per diluted share ranging from 58 cents to 63 cents for the full fiscal year ending January 31, 2007.

Total revenues for the first quarter increased $2.3 million, or 1.8%, to $131.4 million compared to $129.1 million for the same period last year. Comp store sales increased 2.4% despite continued weakness in the music and in-store video rental industries, Marmaduke said in a statement. Specifically, music comps decreased 6%, primarily because of a weaker release schedule compared to the prior year’s quarter. Book comps increased 2.7% as a result of increased sales of new release paperbacks and used books, while video for-sale comps increased 13.8% due to increased sales of front-line new release DVDs, DVD box sets, as well as used DVDs.

For the first quarter, total gross profit dollars increased approximately $2.6 million, or 5.9%, to $46.6 million, up from $44.0 million for the same period last year, primarily due to increased sales volume as well as lower freight, shrinkage and returns expense. As a percentage of total revenues, gross profit increased to 35.5% for the quarter compared to 34.1% for the same quarter in the prior year.

During the first quarter, Hastings opened one store in Jonesboro, AR, bringing its total store base to 153 units in medium-sized markets throughout the US.

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