Best Buy posts higher profit, but falls short of expectations

Best Buy shoppers spent less than expected this spring, contributing to a rocky first quarter for the chain and disappointing Wall Street, but executives said the weak results don’t mean Americans have less of an appetite for electronics.

The company’s profit edged up 1 percent but fell far short of what analysts were expecting. Best Buy stock tumbled 6 percent.

Company executives pointed out Tuesday that the first quarter makes up just 10 percent of Best Buy’s annual revenue.

Best Buy Co. said its net income rose to $155 million, or 36 cents per share, during the three months ended May 29, from $153 million, also roughly 36 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose almost 7 percent, to $10.79 billion from $10.1 billion.

 

Airline officials say revenue, corporate travel improving

Airlines are seeing a business travel recovery, a return in leisure fliers, and strong bookings heading into the peak summer months.

Due to the strength of the U.S. dollar relative to the euro, travel across the Atlantic is strong and “our trans-Pacific business is on fire,” Continental Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Transportation Conference.

US Airways Group Inc. said corporate revenues jumped 50 percent in May from a year earlier, though they are still below pre-recession levels.

At Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s biggest carrier, “We continue to see momentum building in the business, driven not just by the improving economy but also improving corporate volumes,” President Edward Bastian said.

Delta expects unit revenues — revenue per mile per paying passenger — will increase 20 percent in the three months ending June 30.

 

Apple, AT&T overwhelmed by preorders for iPhone 4

Apple Inc. and AT&T Inc., which began taking preorders for a new version of the iPhone on Tuesday, are struggling to handle demand, according to customers and store representatives.

At Apple stores in San Francisco and New York, the staff recommended that customers try ordering the device from Apple’s website later Tuesday or today. Some calls to Apple’s customer-service line weren’t getting through due to high volume.

The iPhone 4, which starts at $199, goes on sale in the United States on June 24. That price requires a two-year service contract with AT&T, the device’s exclusive U.S. carrier.

Apple, which will offer black and white models of the new handset, said Tuesday that customers can’t preorder the white version. It also won’t be available in stores June 24.

 

SpaceX signs deal to launch fleet of commercial satellites

SpaceX has signed a $492 million deal with a satellite phone company to launch a fleet of next-generation commercial satellites.

The deal will be announced today. It comes two weeks after SpaceX’s Falcon 9 reached orbit on its maiden test flight.

Iridium Communications previously announced plans to launch six dozen next-generation satellites between 2015 and 2017 to replace its network. The effort will cost $2.9 billion.

Neither company would say how many Falcon 9 launches would be required to put the satellites into low-Earth orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

 

Volkswagen cutting list price of 2011 Jetta in United States

Volkswagen is cutting the price of its top-selling vehicle in the United States, the Jetta, when the 2011 version of the sedan goes on sale here in October.

Volkswagen of America Inc. said the 2011 Jetta will start at about $16,000. contrast, the 2010 Jetta starts at $17,735. Volkswagen unveiled the new Jetta at a news conference in New York on Tuesday.

Volkswagen’s top U.S. executive, Stefan Jacoby, said the company is cutting the price for a simple reason: to sell more cars. Last year, VW sold about 100,000 Jettas in the United States. next year, its goal is to boost sales 20 percent to 30 percent.