UPDATE 2-Best Buy's profit forecast points to robust holiday shopping demand

Uday Sampath Kumar

(Adds details on holiday quarter, CEO, analyst comments; Updates shares)

Nov 26 (Reuters) - Best Buy Co Inc signaled it expected a strong holiday shopping season by forecasting fourth-quarter profit above Wall Street estimates on Tuesday, sending the shares of the biggest U.S. tech retailer up 5% in premarket trading.

Target Corp and Walmart Inc have already predicted strong sales in the crucial period between Thanksgiving and Christmas that can account for as much as 40% of annual sales for U.S. retailers faced with a slowing economy.

U.S. consumer spending is slowing faster than economists had expected and the latest data has shown pockets of weakness, including in electrical appliances, which are Best Buy's main market.

Retail sales overall, however, rebounded in October and Chief Executive Officer Corie Barry said Best Buy was well prepared for the holidays with new products, deals and online ordering options.

"The typical Best Buy customer is at or slightly above median income, and this group is currently thriving," Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said.

"At the same time, there are an increasing number of new consumer electronics products that have captured interest, including items in the mobile, smart home and wearables categories, all of which Best Buy excels at."

The retailer's focus on repair and tech support services as well as new financing and leasing options has also been helping it pull more shoppers into stores, especially at a time when the U.S. shopping landscape is being dominated by online retailers.

Best Buy said it expected fourth-quarter adjusted earnings of $2.65 to $2.75 per share, largely above Wall Street expectation of $2.65.

The company said same-store sales in the quarter was expected to rise between 0.5% and 3%, the mid-point of which is above estimates of a 1.4% increase. In the third quarter, overall same-store sales rose 1.7%, beating analysts' average estimate of a 1.3% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Revenue rose to 1.8% to $9.76 billion, beating expectations of $9.70 billion. Excluding one-time items, Best Buy earned $1.13 per share, ahead of analysts' estimates of $1.03 per share.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)