GamesBeat

GameStop’s stock is getting hammered after the retailer lowered its Q4 guidance

Gamers line up for a midnight launch at GameStop.

Above: Gamers line up for a midnight launch at GameStop.

Image Credit: GameStop

GameStop made $3.15 billion over the holidays, but that’s not enough to keep its share price from plummeting.

The retailer’s stock is currently trading at $36.55, which is down almost 20 percent since the market opened this morning. Investors are hammering the largest gaming-specific retailer in the U.S. after it revised its guidance down for the fourth quarter.

The company, which serves as the most recognizable physical outlet for the multibillion-dollar gaming industry, previously predicted it would bring in an earnings-per-share (EPS) of $1.97 to $2.14. GameStop is now anticipating an EPS range of $1.85 to $1.95 for the fourth quarter.

That’s well below analyst expectations of $2.14 a share, according to market-research website Factset.

R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian believes that GameStop revised down its expectations due to potentially slumping software sales in December.

“Based on GameStop’s report, we are adjusting our estimates for Q4 and 2014,” Sebastian wrote in a note to investors. “We note that NPD will provide its update on December industry sales, which we expect to reflect declining software sales year-over-year.”

As Sebastian notes, industry-intelligence firm The NPD Group will release its sales figures for December and 2013 on Thursday. Despite the launch of the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft, Sebastian expects November’s slow software sales to continue into the final month of the year.

GameStop also revised down its full-year EPS guidance from $3.06 to $2.96, which is down 5 percent from the retailer’s previous estimates.

The brick-and-mortar gaming chain has had several years of growth, but it now faces challenges as the industry shifts to a digital model. GameStop’s share price reached an all-time high of $57.74 in November, but it has dipped in value since then.

Prior to today’s adjustments, GameStop’s stock also took a hit last week when Sony announced its PlayStation Now game-streaming service. This platform is a cloud-based gaming solution that will enable customers to stream PlayStation 3 titles similar to how Netflix streams films. GameStop’s shares dropped 8 percent to $44 on the possibility that Sony could cut out physical games moving forward.

 

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