GameStop Holiday Sales Up 35%

Sometimes it seems like I write this post every year. Mega retail gaming store GameStop has announced that the 2007 holiday season saw a record $2.3 billion dollars, an increase of 35% over last year's holiday sales. To put this in perspective, this is more money than I have in my pocket right now. GameStop boss Dick Fontaine cites the proliferation of next-generation consoles as a driving force of the triumph over the numbers of yesteryear.

"Driven by robust domestic and international sales, GameStop achieved the most successful holiday season results ever," said company chairman and CEO Richard Fontaine. "Video game software sales grew by 45%, while the next generation installed base is now triple last year's base and a very positive leading indicator for future sales growth."
In the wake of sales news, the company raised their fiscal 2007 earnings guidance by $0.13 a share, indicating that I really need to read up on financial information to better understand what that means. I know it's good at least - otherwise it wouldn't have made it into the press release, after the jump.
GameStop Reports Record Holiday Sales

Total Sales Increase 35% Over Previous Year

Holiday Same Store Sales Increase 20%

Fiscal 2007 Earnings Guidance Raised by $0.13 per share

GRAPEVINE, Texas—(BUSINESS WIRE)—GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer, today reported sales results for the nine-week holiday period ending January 5, 2008.

Total sales for the 2007 holiday period were $2,334.4 million, a 34.7% increase from the prior year holiday period of $1,732.8 million. Comparable store sales for the holiday period increased 20.0%.

R. Richard Fontaine, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Driven by robust domestic and international sales, GameStop achieved the most successful holiday season results ever. Video game software sales grew by 45%, while the next generation installed base is now triple last year's base and a very positive leading indicator for future sales growth."

The top five video games sold during the holiday period were Activision's GUITAR HERO III and CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE, ASSASSIN'S CREED by Ubisoft, Electronic Art's ROCK BAND and Nintendo's SUPER MARIO GALAXY.

Fontaine also stated that he "was particularly pleased with record holiday handheld sell-outs of the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. The Nintendo Wii, even in the face of on-going seasonal shortages, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3, proved to be on many holiday wishlists as new console sales were very strong.

"Video gaming is redefining itself and attracting more players than ever as demonstrated by the growing number of Wii parties and Guitar Hero fests held not only at home, but also on college campuses, cruise ships and any place people are having fun."

Updated Guidance

Based on sales trends to date, GameStop is increasing its fourth quarter 2007 comparable store sales guidance from a range of 7.0% to 9.0%, to be in a range of 15.5% to 16.5%. Full year comparable store sales are now expected to be in a range of 23.5% to 24.5%.

In addition, GameStop is also increasing its fourth quarter diluted earnings per share guidance to be in a range of $1.09 to $1.10. Full year earnings per diluted share guidance is now forecast to be in a range of $1.75 to $1.76, which is $0.13 per share higher than guidance issued on November 20, 2007.

Note that guidance does not include debt retirement costs.

Full year 2007 sales and earnings results and fiscal 2008 earnings guidance are expected to be released in mid-March 2008.