Hastings Entertainment made a slim profit in its fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 30, reporting net income of $73,000, or one cent per share, on sales of $122.3 million. That's compares with a $2.2 million loss, or 20 cents per diluted share, on sales of $119.6 million in the same quarter last year.

This marks the first time since the company went public in 1998 that the chain has made money in its fiscal third quarter, let alone in each of the quarters so far this year.

During the quarter, the chain garnered a 2.8% increase in comparable-store sales. By product category, music was by far the weakest link showing almost a 15% comparable store decline. Meanwhile, movies were up 7.6%; books 2.5%; video games, 34%; trend merchandise 22% and electronics 30.8%. The only other product category besides music to show a decline was video and video game rental, which comprises 20% of the chain's sales. That category was down 1.4% on a comparable-store basis. But the company attributes the video rental decline to a conversion of customer preferences to buying movies and games. When the movie and video game sales and rentals are combined, the resultant category enjoys a comparable-store increase of 8.5%.

For the nine-month period, the company reported $4.4 million in net income, or 41 cents per diluted share on total sales of $376.2 million, versus a loss of $96,000, or once cent per share, on total sales of $374.1 million.

Due to its performance, the company increased its "guidance of net income per diluted share to a range of $0.88 to $0.92 for the full fiscal year ending January 31, 2008," Hastings Entertainment VP and CFO Dan Crow said in a statement. "Our previous guidance of net income per diluted share was a range of $0.63 to $0.68."