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Best Buy to feature Samsung

Best Buy will have a section turned into the Samsung Experience Shop.

The electronics retailer will provide 400-square-foot areas to hawk the latest mobile devices from Samsung – which is preparing to ship the latest version of its flagship phone, the Galaxy S4.

A spokesman for Best Buy said construction of the Experience Shop at the Northcrest Shopping Center location should wrap up in coming days. An Experience Shop in the Best Buy at Apple Glen Crossing is expected to debut in June, he said.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Sprint and T-Mobile were delaying shipments of the Galaxy S4 likely because of supply disruptions.

Raytheon profit beats estimates

Raytheon Co. reported first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates and raised its 2013 profit outlook while lowering sales expectations.

The world’s biggest missile maker, which has Fort Wayne operations, said net income from continuing operations rose 8.9 percent to $490 million, or $1.49 a share, compared with $450 million, or $1.33 a share, a year earlier. Analysts predicted $1.28 a share, the average of 18 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales fell 1 percent to $5.88 billion, the Waltham, Mass.-based company said Thursday in a statement.

Raytheon said it expects full-year profit to be higher than forecast in January. The company said 2013 profit will be $5.26 to $5.41 a share, up from the $5.16 to $5.31 a share forecast last quarter. It expects revenue to be $23.2 billion to $23.7 billion, down from the earlier forecast of $23.6 billion to $24.1 billion, reflecting U.S. automatic budget cuts.

Exxon earnings rise, chemical profits surge

Exxon Mobil Corp. said earnings rose slightly in the first quarter as profits from chemicals production surged enough to offset declining production of oil and gas. Lower taxes also helped.

The Irving, Texas, company reported Thursday that net income totaled $9.5 billion in the quarter, or $2.12 per share, on revenue of $108.8 billion. During last year’s quarter, Exxon earned $9.45 billion, or $2 per share, on revenue of $124.1 billion.

Analysts expected Exxon to earn $2.05 per share, on average.

Exxon’s chemicals and U.S. refining operations took advantage of the same low prices that dented revenue and profitability in its oil and gas production operations.

Jobless aid requests drop to 339,000

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the second-fewest in more than five years. The drop suggests that layoffs have declined and that job growth may pick up from last month’s sluggish pace.

Applications for benefits dropped 16,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average declined 4,500 to 357,500.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they decline, it signals that companies are cutting fewer jobs.

Still, layoffs are only half the equation: Businesses also need to be confident enough in the economy to step up hiring. Many companies have been advertising more jobs but have been slow to fill them. Job openings jumped 11 percent during the 12 months that ended in February, but the number of people hired declined, according to a Labor Department report this month.