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Best Buy posts higher comparable sales during key holiday quarter

NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - Best Buy Co Inc, the No. 1 U.S. consumer electronics retailer, reported a higher-than-expected rise in same-store sales in the fourth quarter, helped by strong customer demand, improving competitive environment and strong sales in the gaming category.

The retailer said same-store sales rose 9 percent in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3 . Analysts on average had expected a 2.9 percent rise, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Richfield, Minnesota-based company's net income fell to $364 million, or $1.23 per share, in the quarter, from $607 million, or $1.91 per share, a year earlier, impacted by items from the new U.S. tax reform. Excluding these charges, earnings were $2.42 per share.

The company's revenue rose to $15.36 billion, beating estimates of $14.5 billion. (Reporting by Nandita Bose in New York Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)