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RICHFIELD, MN-Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy reported a 15% drop in Q1 profits during its earning call Tuesday morning. The earnings of $153 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, represent a decline as compared to the $179 million, or $0.43 per share, earned in the year prior. Excluding restructuring charges of $25 million related to store operating model changes domestically and corporate restructuring in Europe, the company experienced net earnings of $178 million or 42 cents per share.

On a positive note, the company highlights the fact that these figures still substantially exceeded its expectations for the quarter. Analysts surveyed by First Call expected the earnings per diluted share to be $0.34, according to the company. Another silver lining seen in Q1 was a two-percent increase in market share, which executives attribute in part to Circuit City’s demise.

“Perhaps even more important than the financial results we are seeing are the encouraging strategic results we see,” says Brian Dunn, president and COO. “First and foremost, we continued to grow our market share. Our share gains accelerated during the quarter since a major competitor closed its doors, something we’ve been very purposeful in planning for and to be blunt, taking advantage of.”

Dunn, who will take over retiring CEO Brad Anderson’s role next week, says significant gains were made in the company’s TV, computing and mobile phones sectors. The company saw a 12-percent increase in revenue to $10.1 billion in Q1 of fiscal 2010, up from $9 billion in Q1 in fiscal 2009. The increases can be attributed to the addition of 185 new stores in the past year. Same store sales plunged more than six percent during the same period.

Dunn says he believes market share gains will continue in the coming quarters as the company strives to improve its product domestically and expand overseas. “We have a proven track record as a company of buying share, not renting it, and we believe that this is the case here,” he says. “When customer demand accelerates, I am confident that we will see growth in accordance with our share gains.”

Following the morning’s conference call, Best Buy shares fell $2.82, or more than 7%, to $35.84 in Tuesday’s trading.

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