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US electronics retailer Best Buy says first quarter net profit falls 26%

The company is restructuring its outmoded big box business to better compete with online and discount rivals.

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A pedestrian walks by a Best Buy store on April 10, 2012, in New York City. (Justin Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images)

Best Buy posted a 26 percent fall in first-quarter net profit today as the struggling electronics retailer restructures its outmoded big box business to better compete with online and discount rivals.

According to the Financial Times, net profit fell to $158 million, or 46 cents per share, in the three months ended May 5, down from $212 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings were 72 cents per share, beating analysts’ forecasts of 59 cents per share.

Total revenues rose 2 percent year-on-year to $11.6 billion, slightly higher than expectations.

Interim chief executive Mike Mikan told investors today the company was no longer “the authority” in the electronics market and needed to change “substantially," the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Best Buy is in a turnaround and the strategic priorities we laid out at the beginning of the year are just the first phase of the changes to come,” Mikan said in a statement.

Best Buy announced a major restructuring last month that includes shrinking its superstores, closing others, cutting 400 jobs and slashing $800 million in costs, the Associated Press reported.

The Minnesota-based company has been in the spotlight since chief executive Brian Dunn was forced to resign last month amid an internal investigation into allegations he had an improper relationship with a female subordinate.

The scandal also led to the resignation of Best Buy founder Richard M. Schulze last week, after the company’s audit committee said he acted improperly when he learned about the allegations.

Reuters said Best Buy has hired headhunter Spencer Stuart to find a new CEO.

More from GlobalPost: US retail sales slow in April

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120522/us-electronics-retailer-best-buy-says-first-quar