Big Quarter for Blockbuster - TheStreet

Big Quarter for Blockbuster

The company easily beats earnings estimates and says sales rise 9.5%.
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Strong DVD sales and cost controls drove

Blockbuster's

(BBI) - Get Report

second-quarter profits up by almost 47%, and the company said it expects full-year earnings to easily exceed 2002's results.

The movie-rental giant posted a quarterly profit of $61.2 million, or 34 cents a share, compared with last year's earnings of $41.7 million, or 23 cents a share, according to a statement released Wednesday by the company.

Total revenue for the quarter increased 9.5% to $1.39 billion from $1.27 billion last year, while retail revenue increased 44.6% to $275.1 million from last year's $190.3. Blockbuster attributed the growth to a jump in DVD sales and the addition of 535 new stores.

The company's quarterly earnings beat analysts' consensus estimate of 24 cents. Now, Blockbuster expects full-year earnings of around $1.40 a share, while Thomson First Call predicts 2003 earnings of $1.33.

"These results clearly demonstrate that we are successfully executing the business plan we announced earlier this year to improve operating margin while maximizing profitability and cash flow," Blockbuster Chairman and CEO John Antioco said in a prepared statement. "We delivered on our previously stated guidance of low-single digit same-store revenues while exceeding guidance for all other key performance metrics, and we remain on track to deliver strong results for the full year."

The company said it expects full-year revenue to post a percentage increase in the "high-single digits," and it plans to add about 300 to 400 stores this year.

Shares of Blockbuster recently rose 4.5%, or 71 cents, to $16.55 on the

New York Stock Exchange

.