Best Buy Co Inc maintained its forecast for the year after posting lower first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, dragging its shares down 3.5 percent even though the profit topped analysts' expectations.

Best Buy saw demand rise when main rival Circuit City closed its doors but has also faced increased pressure from Wal-Mart Stores Inc and others adding laptop computers, flat-screen televisions and other products to their stores.

The top U.S. specialty consumer electronics retailer said sales at stores open at least 14 months declined the most during May, which faced a tough comparison to a year earlier, when consumers came into its stores to spend government stimulus checks.

Best Buy said it earned $153 million, or 36 cents per share, in the fiscal first quarter ended on May 30, down from $179 million, or 43 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring charges, Best Buy said adjusted earnings fell to 42 cents per share from 43 cents per share. Analysts had expected Best Buy to earn 34 cents per share on that basis, according to Reuters Estimates.

Best Buy has cut jobs and slowed new store openings while also expanding sales of mobile phones as it works on remaining at the top of consumers' minds in the downturn. The company estimated that as of April 30 its U.S. market share grew by nearly 200 basis points from a year earlier.

Still, fewer customers visited its U.S. stores during the quarter. Sales of gaming items, digital cameras, appliances and movies fell, while notebook computers, mobile phones and repair services sold well.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $10.1 billion, aided by sales at new stores. Analysts, on average, expected revenue of $10.19 billion.

Sales at stores open at least 14 months fell 6.2 percent overall and 4.9 percent in the United States.

Best Buy stood by a forecast it gave in March, calling for fiscal year earnings of $2.50 to $2.90 per share, excluding restructuring charges.

Shares of Best Buy declined 3.5 percent to $37.30 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl, editing by Dave Zimmerman)