* Q1 same-store sales down 12.5 pct on yr
* Decline blamed on lack of blockbuster game launches
* Company doing a "good job" relative to industry -analyst
(Adds analyst quotes, details)
By Malathi Nayak
May 10 GameStop Corp's same-store sales
plummeted 12.5 percent year on year and earnings dipped in the
first quarter, as the U.S. retail chain struggled with slowing
video game hardware and software sales.
The company, which announced rudimentary earnings ahead of
fuller results to be unveiled May 17, reported earnings of 54
cents a share in the first quarter, compared to 56 cents a year
It blamed the quarterly sales slide to the lack of
blockbuster game launches.
Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said GameStop's earnings
managed to fall in line with analysts' expectations.
"It was a pretty tough quarter for the industry in general
but I think relative to that Gamestop actually did a really good
job," Bhatia said.
The company's announcement came shortly after market
research firm NPD's report showed a 32 percent decline in total
U.S. sales of videogame hardware and software in April, after
similar declines throughout the first quarter.
Games software sales were down 42 percent last month, the
Gamestop wanted to get the word out that their numbers have
been "significantly outperforming," Bhatia said.
Sales of traditional video game products such as consoles
have been struggling globally as gamers turn to lower-priced
online offerings and spend more time on their tablets and
phones. GameStop has weathered the trend by focusing on selling
games to console owners.
Video game publishers are reluctant to make big investments
in new offerings as they wait for a jump into a next generation
Nintendo will come out with its follow-up to the
Wii console, the Wii U, for the holiday shopping season. This is
the first new home console in years, and GameStop expects it to
boost sales of games and hardware.
"We're just in a kind of an odd spot in game history because
we've never been this long in a console cycle," Wedbush
Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.
(Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)