GameStop Corp. (GME) Misses Estimates, Shares Slump

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GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) released its fourth fiscal quarter results before opening bell this morning, coming up a bit short with basic net earnings of $1.91 a share on sales of $3.68 billion. Diluted earnings per share were $1.89. On average, analysts had been expecting the retail chain to report earnings of $1.93 a share on revenue of $3.79 billion.

As expected, console sales drove positive same store sales, both for the fourth quarter and the full year. Both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 launched during the fourth quarter.

Breaking down GameStop’s results

Total global says for the quarter rose 3.4%. GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) noted that the quarter had 13 weeks, compared to last year’s 14 weeks in the same quarter. The retail chain reported that consolidated comparable store sales rose 7.8% year over year, with sales and comps being driven by the two new consoles.

Fourth quarter net earnings were $220.5 million, which includes “goodwill and asset impairment charges,” which amounted to a 20-cent per-share impact. That’s a decline from last year’s net earnings of $261.1 million in the same quarter a year ago.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) said the charges were mainly connected with the closure of Spawn Labs and store asset impairments. The retail chain also had a one-time benefit of 18 cents per share due to a change in accounting estimates.

GameStop reports full-year results

For the full 2013 fiscal year, which ended Feb. 1, 2014, GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) reported total globl sales of $9.04 billion, an increase of 1.7% year over year. Full-year consolidated comparable store sales rose 3.8%, as sales of new video game hardware increased 29.7%. Those sales were driven by the launches of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.

Sales from new and used video games fell 2.8% year over year, while sales of “value products” fell 4.1% in the quarter. GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) said until the fourth quarter, both categories were impacted by “limited” releases of new titles and also falling store traffic.

Diluted net earnings for the full year were $2.99 a share, compared to $2.13 per share in losses in the previous years.

GameStop buys back shares, guides for 2014

During the fourth quarter, GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) bought back $49.5 million worth of shares. For the full year, the retail chain bought back $258.3 million. It also paid back $131 million in dividends during the fiscal year.

In the current year so far through March 20, GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) has bought back about $20.6 million worth of shares. The company has $436.5 million left on its current share repurchasing program. Earlier this month, GameStop also announced it was increasing its regular annual cash dividend by 20% to $1.32 per share.

GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) said it expects earnings per share for the full year to rise between 13% and 23%. It expects its net income to grow between 12% and 22%. The retail chain guided for diluted earnings per share of 55 cents to 60 cents for the current quarter and $3.40 to $3.70 for the full 2014 fiscal year.

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