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EARNINGS ROUNDUP

Blockbuster Slashes Loss in Restructuring

April 28, 2006|From the Associated Press

Movie-rental chain Blockbuster Inc. cut its first-quarter loss sharply and posted its first gains in U.S. same-store rentals in three years. But revenue fell nearly 8% as it closed some stores and reduced low-margin merchandise.

Blockbuster executives and industry analysts said the company focused on improving profitability, even if it meant sacrificing sales.

Blockbuster said Thursday that it lost $4.7 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a loss of $57.5 million, or 31 cents, a year earlier. Excluding expenses for store closings and worker severance, Blockbuster would have earned $13 million, or 5 cents a share. Analysts had expected a gain of 2 cents, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

Same-store rental revenue, a closely watched measure for Blockbuster, rose 2.1% in U.S. stores. Overall revenue fell 7.7% to $1.43 billion.

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