GameStop Reports Sales Slide on Wii Woes

Global video game retailing giant GameStop (NYSE:GME) on Monday blamed weak Wii software and general hardware sales for a drop in same-store sales during the holiday period, though the company maintained earnings guidance for the fourth quarter and full year.

Same-stores sales dropped 0.3% during the nine-week period, with an international sales decline of 1.5% overshadowing a 0.3% uptick in the U.S. GameStop’s earnings guidance for Q4 and the year remained in ranges of $1.66 to $1.76 and $2.82 to $2.92, respectively.

GameStop shares have steadily climbed about 12% since hitting a lull in late November but still are well short of their 2011 peak around $28.

In a press release, GameStop CEO Paul Raines said, “Our solid sales performance of new high-def console software was offset by weak Wii software sales and hardware sales due to the lack of new hardware offerings versus the 2010 period.”

Positives during the period included a 60% jump in digital sales, led by the subscription service Call of Duty Elite; an almost 10% increase in video game software sales; and a 3.5% climb in pre-owned sales.

Raines also said GameStop “retired the remainder of its long-term debt, establishing a debt-free balance sheet as we go into 2012,” according to the release.

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